Senior BJP MLA and former union minister Basanagouda Patil Yatnal courted controversy on Thursday with his remark that that he would have ordered the police to shoot all intellectuals if he were the home minister of the state.
Addressing a "Kargil Vijay Diwas" function in his Assembly constituency Vijayapura (formerly Bijapur), Yatnal dubbed liberals and intellectuals "anti-nationals".
Referring to former chief minister Siddaramaiah's media advisor Dinesh Amin Mattu, he said Mattu had made a statement that youngsters join the army to escape from poverty and die.
Blaming India’s first Prime Minister Jawahar Lal Nehru for the Kashmir problem, he also said that PM Narendra Modi would scrap Article 370, which gives special status to Jammu & Kashmir state. He held the civil society responsible for the unrest in the country.
The ruling JDS and Congress have demanded an immediate action against Yatnal.
Yatnal, a Lingayat, is considered close to state BJP president BS Yeddyurappa. He was a BJP MLA between 1994 and 1999. Between 1999 and 2009 he was a BJP MP from Bijapur.
He was minister of state for Textiles and Railways in the AB Vajpayee government between 2002 and 2004. In 2010 he had quit the BJP and joined JD-S after a public spat with the party’s state leaders. He quit the JDS a year later and became an independent MLC.
He is known for making highly inflammatory speeches. A month ago he had told local BJP municipal members not to help the Muslims.