Bangalore, April 6: A section of Kannada writers, including two Jnanpith awardees, and BJP are crossing swords over Narendra Modi in the run-up to Lok Sabha polls that is also being marked by vicious rants among political leaders.
Touching the raw nerve of BJP, celebrated writers U R Ananthamurthy and Girish Karnad have come out with guns blazing on Modi.
Ananthamurthy has said BJP’s prime ministerial candidate was a “threat to Indian civilisation and its pluralist culture” and had the demeanour of a “dictator”. Karnad has been highly critical of Modi being “the single face and voice” of BJP.
Both Ananthamurthy and Karnad are well known for their ideological aversion to BJP and Sangh Parivar and have waded into controversies on many an occasion with their position.
Cut to the quick by their utterances, BJP has dubbed them as Congress “flatterers” like in the princely courts. “Every person has the right to support a party of his choice. But is it right on the part of the litterateurs to question the popularity of BJP’s prime ministerial candidate and act like a shouting brigade,” asked state BJP leader Suresh Kumar.
Hitting hard, former Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar accused some litterateurs of Leftist leanings and supporting Naxals and criminals, a remark that Ananthamurthy mocked at saying the BJP leader might have said so seeing his beard style.
A day later after coming under attack for his remarks, Parameshwara, however, expressed regret, saying “….no I didn’t mean that. I just made that statement very casually…but I didn’t mean that he (Gowda) should take poison and die….”
Siddaramaiah, for whom the April 17 Lok Sabha polls are a major test to his popularity after becoming the Chief Minister in May last year, has been repeatedly targeting Modi in his campaign, calling him “a mass murderer” irrespective of the court pronouncements.
Taking note of Siddaramaiah’s comments, the Election Commission, based on a BJP complaint, has issued notice to the Chief Minister for his derogatory remarks against Modi. The KPCC chief has also been slapped with notice for personal attack on Gowda.