In another twist to the controversy around his arrest on Sunday, Mysuru BJP MP Pratap Simha claimed that his comments on party National President Amit Shah urging party workers to protest aggressively were taken out of context.
In a video that went viral on Monday, Simha was seen speaking about Amit Shah’s alleged instructions to members of the Karnataka Yuva Morcha to make their protests more aggressive. Simha said that Amit Shah had asked whether any protest led to “bursting of teargas and lathi-charges", and asked them to up the ante on their protests.
After the video went viral, Congress leaders used it to condemn the controversy around Simha’s arrest and the aborted Hanuman Jayanthi celebrations in Mysuru. CM Siddaramaiah accused Simha of trying to create a communal disturbance in Mysuru.
However, appearing in a Facebook Live on Tuesday afternoon, Simha claimed that Amit Shah’s instructions had not been in connection with the Hanuman Jayanthi controversy, but with widespread corruption by Congress leaders and the deaths of BJP and RSS workers in the state.
“In my district alone, the deaths of K Raju, Magali Ravi and Kutappa have taken place. The attack on Rashmi Mahesh and intimidation of DC Shikha was in Mysuru. The suicide of DYSP MK Ganapathy was also in Mysuru. There have been several other incidents in the state and in over ten incidents, there is the involvement of KFD (Karnataka Forum for Dignity) and PFI (Popular Front of India). Amit Shah was asking whether we had outraged against these incidents,” Simha said.
Defending Amit Shah’s intentions, the BJP MP from Mysuru said that the party president’s words were taken out of context and were said in connection with burning issues in the state. He also accused the state government of taking away his rights. “The events of December 3 had nothing to do with what Shah had earlier said. It was an attack on me and my rights were taken away. The state government has a hand in this,” he said.
The MP also said he was the only representative of the BJP among 33 MLAs and 5 MPs in Ramanagar, Mandya, Mysuru, Hassan and Chamarajanagar and he was being targeted because of this. He also dismissed the viral video as a ‘cut-and-paste’ job that was distorting his statements and urged those publishing the clip to show the full video.
After Congress leaders took the opportunity of the viral video to lash out at both Simha and Amit Shah, Karnataka BJP President Yeddyurappa sought to distance Shah from the video. "It seems that Pratap Simha has misunderstood the instructions of Shah. He (Shah) has only directed party members to take up public issues strongly and stage protests," Yeddyurappa had told The New Indian Express earlier on Monday.