The high-profile drugs case involving actress Ragini Dwivedi resulted in a heated exchange of words between the ruling BJP leaders and the opposition parties in Karnataka on Monday, with both accusing each other of patronising alleged drug cartels in the state.
Reacting to the Opposition parties' charges, Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa said his government will not protect anyone related to drug cases.
His reaction was a response to the Leader of the Opposition and Congress leader Siddaramaiah and Janata Dal (S) leader H.D. Kumarswamy, who have been accusing the ruling BJP of handling the drugs case of Kannada actress Ragini Dwivedi's case with a "lax approach".
Speaking to reporters here, Yediyurappa asserted that there was no need for his party or government to pressurise anyone to protect someone in this case.
"Drug menace will weaken our youngsters, hence, we are not the ones who will indulge in protecting anyone in this case. We have given the police a free hand to deal with the matter," he claimed.
Concurring with the CM, Home Minister Basavaraj Bommai maintained that the police will regularly share intel info with the neighbouring states as the present drugs case need trans-state border approach to tackle the menace.
"Most of the accused who have been arrested so far have procured drugs from the neighbouring states, hence it has become all the more important for us to initiate talks with our counterparts in these states," he said.
Earlier in the day Siddaramaiah had remarked that it was public information; for whom Ragini Dwivedi had campaigned during the by-elections.
"There is video evidence. BJP leaders cannot wash away their hands from this. If there is any grain of evidence that she was involved in the drugs case, she should be punished. I appeal to the police not to succumb to any political pressure," he said.
He further added that the Congress as the main opposition party has decided to raise as many as 1,200 questions in both written and starred formats for the forthcoming legislative session.
In response to a question, Siddaramaiah said that the police will take action, even against Congress leaders, if they had proof.
"I would not like to lie, drug menace existed even prior to my tenure as CM. But be it me or my predecessors, we tried our best to curtail it with an iron hand. But that is not happening now," he said.