K’taka BJP leader arrested briefly over ‘ready to shoot you’ remark

Karnataka police on Monday briefly arrested BJP leader Manikanth Rathod on the charge of issuing threats to Congress MLA Priyank Kharge.

He was released on station bail with a warning, police sources said.

An FIR was registered against Rathod for issuing a statement which read “we are ready to shoot you” to the Congress MLA in Kalaburagi.

Bramhapura police in Kalaburagi district, who had taken up the investigation, arrested the accused BJP leader in Hyderabad. He was brought to the Brahmapura police station and given station bail, sources said.

The Congress has warned of disrupting Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai’s programmes in Kalaburagi, if legal action is not taken against the accused.

Manikantha Rathod had issued the statement in response to Priyank Kharge, who is in-charge of social media in KPCC. MLA Kharge had stated that Congress party is very much alive in Kalaburagi and that no BJP leader is able to move anywhere in the constituency.

Earlier, BJP had taken up “MLA is missing” poster campaign against Kharge in Chittapur assembly constituency, which he represents.

Manikanth Rathod had responded, “We are ready to die if you (Priyank Kharge) shoot us with an AK-47 gun and ready to shoot you down as well.”

“We are standing behind all communities like an Army. We are ready to die. You can shoot us at your will by an AK-47 gun or country made gun,” he had stated.

The Congress workers staged a protest against BJP and laid siege to the office of the Superintendent of Police of Kalaburagi demanding action against the BJP leader.

Bramhapura police had filed an FIR in this regard and booked a case against BJP leader Manikantha Rathod under IPC Section 506 for issuing life threat.

Priyank Kharge is the son of AICC President Mallikarjun Kharge. The family holds great influence over the masses in the Kalaburagi district. However, the BJP managed to give a jolt to them by defeating Mallikarjuna Kharge in the last parliamentary elections. Later, Kharge was elected to the Rajya Sabha.

The ruling BJP is also equally influential in the district as the party enjoys the support of powerful Lingayats. The district is all set to witness a political high drama in the upcoming assembly elections.

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