Karnataka Congress chief DK Shivakumar on Sunday defended his act of slapping a man who attempted to put his arms around him and said the man he hit was a “boy of our household". The clarification came after the Congress leader faced massive criticism from the BJP and people on social media platforms for his “underworld-like behaviour".
The incident occurred on Friday, and in the video that has since gone viral, Shivakumar can be seen getting irritated by the action of the man, who tried to get close to him and pace along with him.
Shivakumar, who appeared to lose cool, can then be heard telling the man, said to be a party worker, “…you should be responsible", before asking cameramen present there to delete the footage. This happened on Friday during his visit to K M Doddi in Mandya to inquire about the health of ailing veteran party leader G Made Gowda.
When reporters questioned Shivakumar about the viral video, he said, “…what to say if one puts his arms around? What will the people say? Can we allow such a thing because he is a karyakarta (worker)? What will others looking at it say?"
However after sometime, the Karnataka Congress chief was seen telling the man why he lost his cool. To which, the man said, “sorry anna" (sorry brother).
When Shivakumar was again asked on Sunday about Friday’s slapping incident, he was quoted by NDTV as saying, “Look he’s our boy. Besides, a distant relative. I did hit him, saying ‘take your hand off me’. It’s ok, he is a boy of our household. If he scolds me, I will listen. If I scold him, he will listen. It’s between him and me."
Tweeting the video of the incident, BJP national General Secretary C T Ravi asked Congress national leader Rahul Gandhi whether he had given a “licence for violence" to Shivakumar, whom he referred to as a follower of Kotwal Ramachandra, one of the underworld dons of Bengaluru in the 1970s and 1980s. “Karnataka CONgress President @DKShivakumar SLAPS his party worker in full public view. If this is how the “former shishya" of Kotwal Ramachandra treats his party worker, one can imagine what he would do with Others.
Have you given DKS the “licence for violence", @RahulGandhi?" he asked. The Karnataka BJP, hitting out at Shivakumar for his “behaviour" and calling him “Rowdi DKShi", said he should learn how to conduct himself in public.
Karnataka CONgress President @DKShivakumar SLAPS his party worker in full public view.If this is how the "former shishya" of Kotwal Ramachandra treats his party worker, one can imagine what he would do with Others.
— C T Ravi 🇮🇳 ಸಿ ಟಿ ರವಿ (@CTRavi_BJP) July 10, 2021
Posting a video of an earlier incident where Shivakumar can be seen hitting a youth who was clicking selfies as he was about to address the media, the BJP in a tweet asked him to quit public life if “underworld-like behaviour" is unavoidable.
(with inputs from PTI)