BENGALURU: The war of words between chief minister HD Kumaraswamy and state BJP president B S Yeddyurappa percolated down to the rank and file, as Congress and BJP workers clashed with each other outside Yeddyurappa’s residence in Dollars Colony on Thursday. The scuffle broke out when Congress workers, led by former youth Congress leader S Manohar, tried to lay siege to Yeddyurappa’s residence in protest against the BJP leader’s alleged efforts to destabilise the coalition government.

BJP claimed JD(S) flags were seen, but the crowd comprised Congress workers. The police had to intervene and 11 people were arrested. According to BJP leaders, the scuffle ensued almost immediately after Kumaraswamy warned Yeddyurappa that he (Kumaraswamy) will ask people to revolt if the former CM “continues to make efforts to destabilise the government”.

While Congress workers’ efforts to enter Yeddyurappa’s home were thwarted by BJP legislators including M P Renukacharya, N Ravikumar and others, the BJP charged the coalition government with sponsoring the scuffle. “It was a government sponsored attack on our state president’s home as it happened minutes after the CM spoke in Hassan district,” said BJP MLA R Ashoka. “The incident is a murder of democracy as no chief minister in the history of Karnataka has ever asked people to riot against his political rivals.” The opposition party alleged the incident suggested a crisis in law and order of the state, and sought the immediate intervention of governor Vajubhai Vala in the matter. Yeddyurappa is scheduled to meet the governor on Friday.

The BJP also urged the state police to suo motu file a case against “people’’ who instigated the Congress workers. “Under section 123 and 124A of the Indian Penal code any person who tries to instigate hatred by word should be imprisoned,” said Ashoka and deputy leader of opposition Govind Karjol. “It is no less than sedition when the CM is asking people to riot against a leader of a national party.” The BJP criticised the police for trying to “escape” from their duties at the behest of the government. “There was only one constable who was stationed at our party president’s home and could not do anything,” said Ravikumar. “The government tried to create a safe environment for the goons who tried to barge into Yeddyurappa’s home. The police were missing from the location for almost an hour,” said Ravikumar. He urged home minister G Parameshwara to act on the incident.

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