Police stations, govt. departments have become extensions of BJP offices: Congress

Shivakumar alleges that party workers are being threatened if they declined to join or support BJP

Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president D.K. Shivakumar on Friday alleged that police stations and government departments in the State had become “extensions of BJP offices” and accused the police of filing false cases against party workers.

The State Congress held a Bengaluru divisional-level party meeting here to chalk out its future struggles and protests against the “anti-people policies” pursued by Union and State governments.

False cases

Speaking to mediapersons after the daylong meeting with office-bearers of blocks and district Congress committees and frontline outfits of the party, Mr. Shivakumar alleged that the police had been filing false cases against party workers and threatening them with dire consequences if they declined to join or support the ruling BJP.

The party had decided to stage protests in front of police stations to take action on the party lines, he said.

He said the State government had withdrawn some of the social welfare programmes launched by the erstwhile Congress governments led by Siddaramaiah and later the JD(S)–Congress coalition government. Party workers had been told to launch protests against the departments seeking restoration of such schemes, he said.

Stating that the party should represent the voice of the people and the KPCC president should represent the voice of the block Congress committee presidents, Mr. Shivakumar said booth-level, ward-level, and gram panchayat-level committees would be formed soon to transform the Congress into a cadre-based party.

Tours planned

The KPCC chief said Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Assembly Siddaramaiah and other party leaders would tour 100 to 150 Assembly constituencies this year to establish connectivity with party workers and voters. The objective of these divisional meetings were to hear the grievances of the common people against the State and Union governments, Mr. Shivakumar said.The Union government had announced a ₹20 lakh crore package to people affected by COVID-19 and lockdown. But a majority of the people in unorganised sectors had not benefited from the package, he alleged.

During the pandemic, the government instead of helping the poor levied more taxes and burdened the common man. Taxpayers’ money had been looted by the State government by procuring medical equipment at a higher price during the pandemic, the Congress leader alleged.

The Belagavi divisional-level meeting would be held in Hubballi on January 11 and the Kalaburagi division party meeting would be held on January 18, he said.

The party held the Mysusu divisional-level meeting in Bantwal in Dakshina Kannada on January 7.

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