HDK’s ‘untouchability’ statement kicks off row

Former Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy on Wednesday reiterated that he did not defend or practice “untouchability”, as his earlier statement made while talking about party president C.M. Ibrahim had turned controversial.

In response to Mr. Ibrahim’s statement that he too was a Chief Minister candidate, Mr. Kumaraswamy had asked: “Should a Muslim not become the Chief Minister? Is he an untouchable?”

Complaint filed

Following this, the Chalavadi Mahasabha had filed a complaint with the Doddaballapur town police in which it sought action against the Janata Dal (Secular) leader for using the word “untouchable.” It has said that the usage of word was an insult to Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Ttribes, and illegal under the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.

On Wednesday, Mr. Kumaraswamy said that some people were twisting his statements in the social media and misleading the public. “I have never seen anyone through the prism of untouchability. I treat everyone equally,” he said.

Pointing out at a similar statement made by Leader of the Opposition Siddaramaiah, he said: “Why is it that an issue is not made out of his statement? I see a conspiracy in my statement being questioned.”

JD(S) sources said that their leader was talking about “political untouchability” that is often part of a political narrative in the country and not in terms of caste.

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