Hubballi (Karnataka) [India], September 30 (ANI): Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai lashed out at former CM Siddaramiah and said it was 'unfortunate' that the Leader of the Opposition in the State Legislative Assembly was seeking a ban on the RSS.
Talking to reporters here on Friday, CM Bommai said, "The Congress has no basis to ask why the Popular Front of India (PFI) has been banned because it was the same party that had withdrawn the cases booked against PFI".
"To cover up their mistakes, the Congress leaders are demanding a ban on RSS but they don't say why it should be banned," he added.
The Centre on Tuesday declared the Popular Front of India (PFI), and its associates or affiliates or fronts, as an unlawful association with immediate effect for five years, under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967.
"PFI and its associates or affiliates or fronts operate openly as a socio-economic, educational, and political organization but, they have been pursuing a secret agenda to radicalize a particular section of the society working towards undermining the concept of democracy and show sheer disrespect towards the constitutional authority and constitutional set up of the country," said the government notification.
The ban on PFI and its affiliates was welcomed and opposed by many leaders nationwide. However, in Karnataka, it triggered a debate between the two leaders after the former CM and the Leader of the Opposition in the Karnataka Assembly Siddaramiah gave a controversial statement on RSS.
While comparing the RSS and PFI, Siddharamiah called for a ban on RSS too. This triggered a controversy in the state.
"The RSS has built several institutions for poor, downtrodden, and destitute people, and rendered help during natural disasters. The RSS is an organization that is trying to create awareness of patriotism. I feel Siddaramaiah should not have stooped to this level," CM Bommai said.
Earlier, K Suresh, Congress MP from Kerala compared the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) with the Popular Front of India and demanded a similar ban on it for perpetuating "Hindu communalism."
Asked about Congress top post poll, Bommai said it is an internal matter of the Congress Party and did not want to comment on it. However, he added that this may be because the election for the party president was happening for the first time. (ANI)