Opposition leader Siddaramaiah on Thursday said that the Congress party would launch an overnight protest in both the Houses of state legislature demanding the resignation of K.S. Eshwarappa, the Minister for Rural Development and Panchayat Raj.
"We have continued protests and appealed to sack Eshwarappa. He has disrespected our constitution. The Governor should have ordered his impeachment. The Chief Minister should have done it. This only means that RSS has made Eshwarappa to make these remarks," he said.
He further said, "Our national flag symbolises our freedom. When you hold the national flag the spirit of liberty engulfs us. Whoever disrespects national flag sedition charges have to be framed against him. No case has been lodged against Eshwarappa. BJP Party President J.P. Nadda has foisted the saffron flag on the Tricolour flag," he alleged.
In Madhya Pradesh, the BJP flag is hoisted above the national flag. "We are protesting against all this. Minister Eshwarappa has committed a grave offence. BJP won't respect the national flag. We will go ahead with an overnight protest. We will take the issue to the logical end. Let them (BJP) do anything. They have insulted the national flag," he pledged before the media.
Meanwhile, police have taken more than 20 Congress workers into custody after they staged a protest in front of the residence of Minister Eshwarappa in Bengaluru. The agitators raised slogans against Eshwarappa. The workers also laid a siege at the BJP office in Shivamogga and demanded that Eshwarappa should be sacked.
However, Minister Eshwarappa said that there is no question of tendering resignation. "I am a patriot and why should I resign? I am not scared of protests by the Congress party. In fact the state Congress President D.K. Shivakumar has insulted the national flag. The person (Shivakumar), who is on bail, is questioning me?" he quipped.
Karnataka Minister for Rural Development and Panchayat Raj K.S. Eshwarappa on Wednesday said that one day or the other day saffron flag will be hoisted at the Red Fort.
Speaking to reporters on the hijab row that has snowballed into a major crisis in the state as Hindu students are coming to colleges wearing saffron shawls to protest against wearing of hijab by Muslim students, Eshwarappa further stated that the saffron flag might become the national flag of our nation. Saffron flag has already been declared as a national flag, he added.
"We will hoist the saffron flag on any flag post. Those who have sense must respect it. Before, people laughed when we declared that Shri Aam temple at Ayodhya would be built, haven't we built Shri Ram temple at Ayodhya now?" Eshwarappa questioned. "We will hoist the saffron flag at any given place in the world. It is our wish to be clad in saffron shawls," he said.
Reacting to allegations by Congress state President D.K. Shivakumar that saffron shawls are being distributed by the BJP, he charged that, what's wrong in distributing saffron shawls? Opposition leader Siddaramaiah and Shivakumar feel insecure when they hear about saffron.
"Is it possible to go to Christian schools without uniforms? Shivakumar must answer this. I am ready to distribute saffron shawls. I am in Independent India. Who is he to question my liberty? I have not distributed saffron shawls. If at all I distribute them, what's wrong?" he asked.