BJP MP Pratap Simha was left red-faced after residents of Gujjegowdanapura village under Harohalli panchayat, Mysore prevented him from entering the village. Gujjegowdanapura is the village which supplied the stone used in crafting the Ram Lalla idol for the Ram Temple in Ayodhya. The Mysore MP visited the village on Monday, January 22, during the consecration of the Ram temple in Ayodhya. He was to lay a foundation stone for the construction of a temple. But the village residents, mostly Dalits, shooed him away, accusing the MP of neglecting them over the past decade and coming to their village for ‘political motives.’ Agitated by the response of the Dalits, the MP termed them “Mahisha followers.” In Hindu mythology, Mahisha is seen as a demon but marginalised communities view him as a Buddhist ruler killed by Upper Caste Aryans.
Video footage from the incident shows the BJP leader wearing a saffron scarf, engaging in a verbal altercation with an agitated crowd expressing their grievances in Kannada. The situation escalated after Pratap Simha’s police escort intervened. The local MLA, GT Devegowda of the Janata Dal (Secular) was also present during the incident.
During the confrontation, a villager physically restrained the MP, leading to an exchange between the two. After a brief withdrawal from the argument, Pratap was followed by the villager who continued to argue with him and raised slogans condemning the MP. Pratap Simha raised his hand, but a policewoman intervened and escorted him into his vehicle.
Following the incident, Pratap informed reporters that he was denied entry into the village by a former taluk panchayat member of the Congress party and a group of “Mahisha” followers. “Just some three miscreants created the ruckus and they are Congress workers. I am against Mahisha Dasara even now. Desperate that they could not defeat me, the Congress taluk panchayat member and some others did this and will continue to do this.” he alleged.