SDPI, PFI may face ban for ‘planning attacks’

Bommai says organisations plotting to eliminate BJP leaders; BSY to lead delegation to Delhi to seek ban 
Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa arrives for the cabinet meeting at Vidhana Soudha, in Bengaluru on Friday
Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa arrives for the cabinet meeting at Vidhana Soudha, in Bengaluru on Friday

BENGALURU: The Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI), People’s Front of India (PFI) and a few other similar organizations may soon be banned, Home Minister Basavaraj Bommai and Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister JC Madhuswamy told the media after the cabinet meeting on Friday. They said the issue was discussed in the cabinet and some stern action is being considered against these “extreme outfits”.

This statement comes after information that the organisations were seeking to eliminate some known names in the BJP like Bangalore South MP Tejasvi Surya and Chakravarti Sulibele of Yuva Brigade, a sister outfit of the BJP.   Home Minister Basavaraj Bommai said, “Many of them are known violators, they have planned and executed murders, unrest and terror activities over a period of time, and much has been documented.’’ Many have been arrested in previous cases and questioned, and the government has a lot of information on their activities which will all be provided to central government and other agencies, Bommai said. There have been murders, terror activities, planning and conspiracy in Bengaluru, Mangaluru, Mysuru and other places, he said.    

Home Minister Basavaraj Bommai briefs
the media on the arrest of the six SDPI
activists | Nagaraja Gadekal

This is the third time the government is reiterating that it is seeking to ban these organisations. It may be recalled that the first time was following the attack on Congress MLA Tanveer Sait in Mysuru, when the government had stated that it would consider a ban on the PFI. Cabinet Minister R Ashoka had said they would go ahead with banning the SDPI and Karnataka Forum for Dignity. 

The second time the ban was mentioned was after the protests in Mangaluru, when the government again considered the issue of banning SDPI and PFI, where protests saw two deaths due to police firing. Minister Suresh Kumar had said that “both organisations instigate violence and disturb peace in society. Both need to be banned’’.

SDPI state secretary Akram Hassan said, “There is no basis for banning any political party. We are a registered political party functioning under the Constitution. We have won more than 20 seats in municipal and other elections across the state. We are a 10-year-old party, and from day one, they have tried to ban our party, questioning our existence.’’

Earlier in the day, Health Minister B Sriramulu told reporters that a delegation headed by Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa will soon go to Delhi to meet Home Ministry officials, demanding a ban on these organisations. “I will also be part of it and meet the officials concerned next month to submit the memorandum,” he said.Police said that those who attacked a BJP worker for taking part in a pro-CAA demonstration were planning to target many senior  leaders, including Bangalore South MP Tejasvi Surya. “I have more trust on God. There is talk of giving security to people like us, what about people who work on the ground. Our worker Varun was attacked, who will give security to them? People who work for country cannot be seen holding a gun or seen with a gunman. If this is seen, it is nothing but destroying the very purpose of democracy,” the MP said.

Industry Minister Jagadish Shettar said the SDPI always denies its involvement in such activities but it has been proved now. The organisation should be banned as the members have always been involved in anti-social activities and the Union government should take very serious note of this, he said.

Asha workers to get one-time settlement
The strike by thousands of ASHA (Accredited Social Health Activists) workers seems to have succeeded in garnering the attention of the state government.  Although the government has not fulfilled all their demands, it has offered them a one-time settlement of Rs 3,000 each to the 41,000 Asha workers and said it will look into their other demands.  Minister J C Madhuswamy, who announced it after the cabinet meeting on Friday, the state government will incur an additional burden of Rs 12.5 crore to meet the one-time settlement.  ASHA workers had staged a massive protest soon after the New Year after all the deadlines they had given the government expired at the end of last year. The offer came in about a fortnight after the protest began.

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