BJP leader calls freedom fighter ‘Pakistani agent’

Published : February 26, 2020 15:48 IST

The centenarian freedom fighter H.S. Doreswamy with Jignesh Mevani, Independent MLA from Gujarat and Dalit rights activist. Photo: K. MURALI KUMAR

Basanagouda Patil Yatnal, former Union Minister and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLA, created a stir when he, while speaking to media persons in Vijayapura yesterday, called the 101-year-old freedom fighter H.S. Doreswamy a “fake freedom fighter” and a “Pakistani agent”. Doreswamy has been at the forefront of many progressive struggles in Karnataka in the past and has been a firm fixture of the continuous protests that Bengaluru has witnessed since the passage of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) in December last year.

Yatnal’s comment was in response to former Chief Minister and Congress leader Siddaramaiah questioning the role of the Sangh Parivar in the freedom struggle in a rally against the CAA in Vijayapura on February 25. Siddaramaiah tagged Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa in a tweet and urged him to take stringent action against Yatnal. “If not, acknowledge that this is the opinion of your government,” he added. Siddaramaiah cautioned Yediyurappa that if the BJP did not rein its leaders in, the Delhi example was there for all to see, referring to the riots that have rocked Delhi over the past three days.

Doreswamy, who was born in 1918, played a prominent role in the Quit India movement in 1942 in Bangalore (now Bengaluru) and was even jailed for his activities against the colonial government. The centenarian continues to be active after a lifetime of activism. He is the president of the Gauri Lankesh Memorial Trust that was formed after the brutal murder of the journalist and writes a column for Nyaya Patha, a weekly Kannada tabloid brought out by the Trust.