‘We’re 80%, you’re 17%’: Karnataka MLA ‘warns’ Muslims against anti-CAA protests

Somashekara Reddy made the communal statement at a rally in Ballari, insinuating that minorities needed to ‘adapt’ in order to live in India.
‘We’re 80%, you’re 17%’: Karnataka MLA ‘warns’ Muslims against anti-CAA protests
‘We’re 80%, you’re 17%’: Karnataka MLA ‘warns’ Muslims against anti-CAA protests
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Karnataka MLA from Ballari Gali Somashekhara Reddy made communal statements and ‘warned’ Muslims in India against participating in anti-CAA and anti-NRC protests. A video of the MLA making a speech in Ballari during a pro-CAA has gone viral, where he said, “I want to caution those who are protesting… This (the crowd at the pro-CAA rally) is just 5%. If your antics grow, if 100% people come, just imagine what your situation will be.”

“Bewakoofs (idiots) from Congress are lying to you,” he continued, “and you’re believing them and coming out onto the streets. Hey, we’re the 80%! You’re just 17%. If we turn against you what will your situation be?”

If any part of the statement seemed unclear, the MLA confirmed the meaning of his statement, speaking to TNM. Defending his statement, Somashekhara said, “I have not stated anything against anybody. I just said we Hindus are 80% and if the 20% Muslim population damages our property, we cannot just stand by and watch,” Somashekhara said.

The MLA made the provocative statement at a gathering organised in support of the CAA and the BJP cadre and ABVP members present there were heard cheering the MLA on. Somashekhara Reddy is the youngest brother in the Reddy brothers trio: Karunakara, Janardhan (the mining baron) and Somashekhara.

In his speech on Friday, Somashekhara further insinuated that minorities need to ‘adapt’ if they wanted to live in India.  

"Caution, tread with caution. This is our country. You have to live in our country. This is my country. My country,” Somashekhara orated to loud cheers, “If you want to live in this country… the Australian Prime Minister had given a statement once. You know what she said? “If you want to stay in this country, you have to live as per our customs. Caution. If you don’t, I will send you back to your country.” Make sure that you don’t bring such a situation in this country," he said.

Somashekhara Reddy was referring to an old viral WhatsApp forward that had claimed that Julia Gillard, who was the Prime Minister of Australia from 2010 to 2013, encouraged Muslims to leave the country. However, that message was debunked and proved to be fake.

The Congress, meanwhile, has lashed out against the BJP MLA over his statement and said that the leader should be booked by the police.

“This shows the mentality of the BJP and their leaders. These statements are inflammatory and are punishable under the Indian Penal Code and other provisions of law. These are targeted at the minorities and other weaker sections of the society. The concerned police should book him after taking suo motu cognisance. This is the duplicity of the BJP government. They booked UT Khader even though he did not make any provocative statement,” VS Ugrappa, former Congress MP, told TNM.

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