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FIR against lodged against Araga Jnanendra for remarks on Kharge’s complexion

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Bengaluru, Aug 3: The police in Karnataka have registered an FIR against former Cabinet minister and BJP leader Araga Jnanendra for his remarks on Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge’s complexion.

The FIR was registered in Ashoknagar police station of Kalaburagi district on Thursday following a complaint by one Rajeev Jane.

Harshendra Kumar, a Dalit community leader, has also lodged a complaint against Jnanendra over his remarks in Shivamogga district. Jnanendra hails from Theerthahalli and he represents Theerthahalli assembly seat.

Meanwhile, the Akhila Bharatha Veerashaiva and Lingayat Mahasabha have written a letter to the Speaker U.T. Khader to initiate action against Jnanendra for his remarks against Forest Minister Eshwar Khandre.

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Jnanendra came under fire over his objectionable remark on the skin tone of Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge. Coming heavily on him, the Congress demanded his expulsion from the BJP.

The party workers staged a protest in Bengaluru against him. While participating in the protest against implementation of the Kasturirangan Committee report in the Western Ghat region, Jnanendra had stated that Minister of Forests Eshwar Khandre is from northern Karnataka and he does not have any knowledge about people living near forests.

“The people of the region do not have the cover of trees and would be burnt under the scorching Sun. Is it not evident when we see Mallikarjun Kharge?” he asked.

“It is a tragedy that our state has a Minister of Forests coming from a region which does not have forest at all. The people of north Karnataka are burnt to the core under the scorching sun. If we see Mallikarjun Kharge, we know the plight of those people. Eshwar Khandre has some hair on his head and he could escape the scorching Sun,” Jnanedra further said.

The comments were made during the protest in Thirthahalli in Shivamogga district on Tuesday. The remarks went viral on social media on Wednesday, attracting public outrage across Karnataka.

Minister for Forest Eshwar Khandre reacting to the comments had said that Araga Jnanendra and BJP, who are casteist and racist in nature have not only insulted Kharge but the entire state.

“He has issued statements after losing mental balance. Legal action should be initiated against him and he should be expelled from the BJP,” Khandre said.


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