An assassination plot has been hatched to kill Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge, his wife and the entire family by a Bharatiya Janata Party candidate, Congress alleged on Saturday.
General secretary and the official in-charge of Karnataka Randeep Singh Surjewala played an audio clip in which BJP’s Chittapur candidate Manikanta Rathod can purportedly be heard saying in Kannada that he will “wipe out Kharge, his wife and children.”
This comes four days prior to the Karnataka Assembly elections.
Rathod, aged 26, is contesting against the current MLA and Congress chief’s son Priyank Kharge from the Chittapur constituency. However, Rathod has a history of being involved in 40 criminal cases, which include charges of attempt to murder, illegal transportation of rice, drug and narcotics smuggling, possession of illegal firearms, and criminal intimidation.
In November, he was arrested for threatening Priyank Kharge, and upon being granted bail, he publicly declared his readiness to shoot him.
During a press conference on Saturday, Surjewala referred to Rathod as the “blue-eyed boy” of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai.
Surjewala said: “Instead of presenting a vision of development for Karnataka, the pathetic state of the BJP is that they coin one ugly polarising issue a day to somehow save their skins from answering for the 40 per cent corruption [allegations]. Even these abusive and divisive tactics of the BJP are sinking without a trace. Now, they are using assassination plots as their last weapon.”
CM promised to conduct an inquiry to ascertain the authenticity of the audio clip.
“We will take it seriously and get it investigated,” he said.