Bengaluru: The Special Investigation Team (SIT) probing the murder of journalist Gauri Lankesh have some certain clues about the killers, said Minister for Home Ramalinga Reddy.
“I have been telling you that SIT officials have valid information on the killers of Gauri Lankesh. I am sure of nabbing them within a few weeks,’’ Minister Ramalinga Reddy said during an interaction programme organised by Bengaluru Press Club and Reporters’ Guild here on Saturday.
The minister said the SIT team is aware of the killers but could not arrest them due to lack of evidence.
“I am sure of the SIT team nabbing the killers,’’ he said.
On BJP’s demand for the resignation of Bengaluru Development Minister K.J. George after he was named in the first information report (FIR) by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in DySP Ganapati’s suicide case, the home minister said George had already been resigned when the CID took up the case. “Now, there is no need for George to resign for the second time on the same case. BJP leaders’ demand is politically motivated,’’ the minister said.
Cong will retain power
Coming down heavily on BJP leaders for politicizing every issue, the home minister said the state BJP leaders have become active after their national president Amit Shah’s recent visit to Bengaluru.
“Amit Shah has received feedback from intelligence sources about BJP’s poor prospects in the forthcoming Assembly elections. So, the BJP leaders have been organising rallies and protests to protect their existence,’’ the minister said.
He said the BJP would not win not more than 50 seats in the next Assembly elections.
“Congress will retain power in the state by winning more than 125 seats,’’ he said.
My daughter is vegan
The minister said his daughter Soumya is a vegan and interested in social work.
“My son is not interested in politics but my daughter Soumya is interested in social service. Being a vegan, Soumya has been doing social work. She will contest in the next Assembly elections if Congress high command gives her ticket. If not, she will support the candidate selected by the Congress high command,’’ he said.
He said children of senior Congress leaders can contest the elections if they have the ability and capacity to serve people. “Children of some of BJP and JD(S) leaders contested and won the elections. Kith and kin seeking tickets to contest elections is common in all political parties,’’ he said.
Law and order
Expressing satisfaction over the law and order situation in the state, the home minister said the police officers were given free hand in dealing with anti-social elements and rowdy-sheeters.
“I have directed the police officers to take stringent measures against anti-social elements, chain-snatchers and rowdy-sheeters. I advised police officers to invoke Goonda Act against them,’’ he said.
The minister said the widening of some important roads is expected to begin soon to mitigate traffic woes in the city. “There were 44 lakh vehicles in the city in 2013. The number of vehicles has been increased to 56 lakh vehicles in four-and-half years. The government and the BBMP have taken measures to take up widening a few important roads. The work will begin soon,’’ he said.
Cong-JD(S) alliance in BBMP
Defending the decision to forego chairman post of standing committee on Taxation and Finance of Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), the minister said Congress corporators were elected as chairman of the committee for two terms. “JD(S) leaders demanded the post of chairman of taxation and finance. We have agreed to their proposal. To keep the BJP at bay in the BBMP, Congress and JD(S) alliance is a must,’’ he said.