BJP accuses HD Kumaraswamy of openly threatening, abusing scribes

The Karnataka BJP on Tuesday took a dig at Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy, accusing him of openly threatening and abusing journalists in the State.

The BJP was reacting to Congress president Rahul Gandhi’s tweet against Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath over the action against scribes in the northern State.

It listed out incidents of police action against some journalists in the State and also accused Gandhi of “hypocrisy”.

“Your CM @hd_kumaraswamy openly threatens and abuses journalists. Journalist Santosh Thammaiah arrested for speaking against atrocity of Tippu. FIR filed on @VishweshwarBhat for reporting on CM’s sons behaviour. You’re exactly how a human version of ‘hypocrisy’ would look like,” it tweeted in a reply to Gandhi.

“@hd_kumaraswamy anna, your friend @rahulgandhi thinks you are behaving foolishly by arresting people who are posting memes or writing blogs against you. But he is scared to name you, fearing that you will pull the plug & his party will be out of power in Karnataka! Listen to him,” the Karnataka BJP said in a tweet.

The Congress chief had earlier in the day criticised the arrest of scribe Prashant Kanojia and an editor and a head of a Noida-based TV channel, saying Adityanath is behaving “foolishly” and he should release the journalists.

“If every journalist who files a false report or peddles fake, vicious RSS/BJP sponsored propaganda about me is put in jail, most newspapers/news channels would face a severe staff shortage. The UP CM is behaving foolishly & needs to release the arrested journalists,” Mr. Gandhi had tweeted.

Mr. Kumaraswamy, who heads the Congress-JD(S) coalition government, had recently declared that he was ‘boycotting’ the media, apparently upset over the coverage of the Mandya Lok Sabha polls, where his son Nikhil had contested and lost.

He had also slammed news channels, claiming they were “belittling” politicians on their satire programmes and said he felt there was a need to bring in a law to regulate them.

Reacting to the BJP, the JD(S) tweeted, “@BJP4Karnataka So you’re accepting that you and your supporters peddle fake news & end up in jail? Must be pretty tough acknowledging it. Next step is, understanding peddling fake news with malicious intention is not FoE. Third step is, Stop. Peddling. Fake. News!”

On Saturday, two men were arrested based on a complaint by JD(S) workers for allegedly abusing Mr. Kumaraswamy and his family in a video that went viral on social media.

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