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Karnataka Muslim leaders Roshan Baig, Zameer Ahmed Khan fight on Twitter over Bengaluru riots

Former Congress colleagues Zameer Ahmed Khan and Roshan Baig have accused each other of being cosy with SDPI, which is under the scanner for its alleged role in the Bengaluru riots. 

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Bengaluru: The Bengaluru riots have once again brought forth the rivalry between two influential Muslim leaders of Karnataka and led them to trade public potshots over each other’s alleged role in patronising radical forces.

Former Congress colleagues Zameer Ahmed Khan, an incumbent MLA, and Roshan Baig have both accused each other of being cosy with the Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI), the political front of the Kerala-based radical Muslim outfit Popular Front of India (PFI). 

The duel came after police arrested many SDPI members in connection with the 11 August violence, which killed three people and was allegedly triggered by a blasphemous Facebook post about Prophet Muhammad. The post was allegedly made by Naveen Kumar, the nephew of local Congress MLA Akhand Srinivas Murthy. 

The exchange between Khan and Baig started with a tweet posted by the latter Sunday where he accused the Congress of “patronising” the SDPI. Alleging that the Congress had “patronised extreme radical organisations like SDPI” for political gains, the former Shivajinagar MLA said the “recent riots in Bengaluru have exposed the dark underbelly of local politics” in Karnataka. 

The assembly constituency of Shivajinagar oversees the areas of DG Halli and KG Halli, where the violence took place. The “tacit understanding is now backfiring on the Congress since it legitimised such organisations”, Baig said.

Khan hit back in a series of tweets Monday, saying Baig was making statements because he was scared he may face a police investigation in connection with the riots. He alleged the SDPI had contested the 2019 December bypolls in Shivajinagar at Baig’s behest. 

The bypolls were necessitated by the rebellion that hit the Congress-Janata Dal (Secular) government last year.  

“The serious question one needs to ask is, why did the SDPI contest the Shivajinagar assembly bypolls only in December? The SDPI never entered the fray wherever Baig was fighting the election… Baig should explain who fielded the SDPI to divide the minority votes and defeat the Congress,” he added. 

Khan said it was Baig who used the SDPI vote bank to further his political interests. Now, when it seems to be “boomeranging on him”, he is trying to distance himself from the organisation, Khan added. 


Also Read: SDPI doesn’t fear ban over Bengaluru riots, says will emerge stronger just like RSS


Old rivalry

Both Baig and Khan have been trading barbs since the former’s exit from the Congress. 

Congress sources said it was Khan’s March 2018 entry into the Congress from the Janata Dal (S) that led to Baig being sidelined. 

Baig was expelled from the primary membership of the Congress for anti-party activities last year, including a scathing attack on Congress general secretary K.C. Venugopal where he called him a “buffoon”. He subsequently became one of the Congress-JD(S) MLAs who were disqualified from the assembly over their rebellion. However, he was never inducted into the BJP like the others, allegedly because of his association with a big-ticket Ponzi scam.

Speaking to ThePrint, Baig said, right from the beginning, he had opposed the “Congress’ decision to align with the SDPI for votes”. Many observers believe that it was the Congress’ alleged understanding with the SDPI that led the BJP to sweep the coastal belt in the 2018 elections. 

Baig claimed he warned the then chief minister Siddamramaiah and AICC general secretary K.C. Venugopal, but it “was clear at that time that Khan was the more powerful Muslim leader in the party”. 

This is not the first time that the two leaders have openly sparred with each other. During the peak of the IMA scam investigation, Baig claimed a “certain” Muslim leader had been spreading rumours among the aggrieved investors against him. Although he did not name the politician, Baig’s camp alleged Khan’s hand in it. 


Also Read: Bengaluru has seen 8 major riots since 1986 — including two over Prophet Muhammad


 

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1 COMMENT

  1. Really!!!

    1) Delhi riots based on rumours

    2) Banglore riots based on rumours

    3) DESTRUCTION OF GANESH IDOL in GULF by woman CITING RELIGIOUS BELIEFS.

    4) ” THE CHAPPAI ” have already started defending rioters saying it was
    “PREDOMINANTLY ” a certain community. Meaning others were involved. A strategy to confuse investigation and protect rioters.

    4) Just a matter of time before the rioters are declared innocent victims when the government starts prosecuting them from
    ” THE CHHAPPAI”

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