Mangaluru: 'Congress is BJP's war shield, protecting them' - SDPI's Riyaz Farangipet

Daijiworld Media Network - Mangaluru (DV)

Mangaluru, Jan 11: The recent gram panchayat elections saw the local units of Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) performing quite well, garnering well over a hundred seats. It is generally acknowledged both by the Congress and the BJP that by fielding its candidates, especially in Muslim-majority constituencies, the SDPI often plays 'spoilsport' for the Congress, benefiting the BJP in turn. Both the national parties have time and again accused the SDPI of being the B-team of the rival party. Despite this, not many people are familiar with the core ideology of the SDPI and what it aims to achieve as a political party.

In an in-depth interview with Daijiworld editor-in-chief, Walter Nandalike on Daijiworld 24x7 channel's 'Rough and Right' programme, SDPI leader and national committee member Riyaz Farangipet speaks candidly on his party, controversies and political strategies.

DW: The main slogan of the Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) is 'Freedom from Hunger, Freedom from Fear'. In what context is the word 'fear' used here?

Riyaz: Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) is a political party formed on the basis of the Indian Constitution. 'Freedom from Hunger, Freedom from Fear' is our slogan. Here, SDPI does not fear anyone. Our party workers and the team is formed on the basis of the Indian Constitution and democracy, after educating and creating awareness on the law of the land. There are several kinds of fear in society. The word 'hunger' here does not mean only satisfying the physical need. 'Hunger' here means the need for education. A few communities are still deprived of education. It also means there is a need for employment in the country. Hunger also means there is still a scarcity of food. The word 'fear' here refers to how the police are favouring politicians when it comes to the protection of the law. The terror activities of Sangha Parivar and their terrorising acts - the society suffers from several such types of fear. This is a concept to bring the victims and the oppressed out from fear. When we list the reasons for the problems prevalent in the country, it is either hunger or fear. People can lead a peaceful life only if there is freedom from hunger and freedom from fear.

DW: You said that Sangha Parivar creates fear in society. BJP is also an affiliate of the Sangha Parivar. Also, there is an allegation that SDPI is supporting the BJP. Political leaders have termed SDPI as a 'B-team' or 'agent' of BJP or an 'agent'. During the elections, you seem to support the BJP, but now you are criticising them. What is this dual stand?

Riyaz: Cooperation means either we should stand in favour of BJP with an understanding, or holding a meeting with them. This process is called cooperation. The people who accuse us of being the 'B-team' of BJP are those whose political base has started to tremble, for example, the Congress. Congress is facing loss due to SDPI's presence. Hence, because of this loss, they will claim that SDPI is BJP's 'B-team'.Those parties who stand to lose their vote bank due to SDPI will term SDPI as 'B-team' of BJP. On other hand, BJP claims Congress and SDPI are two sides of a coin. All these things are common in politics. But SDPI is an independent party. We are not at anyone's mercy. SDPI is a party that has come forward to save the beauty of democracy of this country.

DW: Is SDPI confined only to one community? And is it contesting elections only in Muslim-dominated areas?

Riyaz: In the Dakshina Kannada district we have won 171 seats. Thirty-two people were from other communities. When people from various communities join us, this ratio will change. As of now, the number of Muslims are more in the party. SDPI is open for all. We have not confined ourselves to a single community. Anyone can join us, irrespective of religion, caste etc. Brahmins or Dalits also can join SDPI. We treat everyone equally. We will not ill-treat anyone. We know of such unfair treatment in other political parties, although now things have changed. Those who point finger at us, please come join us, see our activities and our work. If our activities are against the system, advise us regarding it, instead of standing away and criticizing us.

DW: The allegation here is, SDPI is bringing their candidates into the fray in Muslim majority areas, which will favour BJP and prove disastrous for Congress. For example, there is an allegation that Asaduddin Owaisi helped BJP in Bihar and other states. Is SDPI helping Karnataka in BJP?

Riyaz: In politics loss and gains are common. In some instances, due to Congress BJP has gained. In UP Yogi Adityanath's government came to power due to the Congress. Congress without supporting SP and BSP contested independently, as result BJP won more than 150 seats. Congress indirectly was responsible for the victory of BJP. Well if the question is whether Congress is the B team of BJP? Owaisi was used as a tool but the Congress was responsible for helping BJP get more seats in Bihar.

DW: Who is the real political opponent to SDPI? BJP or Congress?

Riyaz: Our prominent political opponent is BJP. We will define them as the prominent enemy. SDPI's prominent enemy is BJP. But, why Congress is facing problems from us is because Congress has become BJP's war shield. Being a war shield, the Congress has protected BJP for the past 70 years. So, the shield is receiving powerful hits. In future, if we remove this 'shield', SDPI will be able to take BJP head-on.

DW: Is SDPI upset with UT Khader or Congress?

Riyaz: We do not have hatred towards anyone. We only dislike the Sangh Parivar and RSS. It is not personal grudge but social enmity. They are against the Constitution and democracy. They are waiting to break the democratic system. They are trying to replace the Constitution with Manusmriti. They show more affection towards Bhagava Dwaja, instead of the Indian flag. In the interest of society, our main enemy is BJP. UT Khader or the Congress are not our foes but political opponents during elections.

DW: Several state and national media reported that SDPI workers raised pro-Pakistan slogans in Ujire during the vote-counting process, what is your say on this?

Riyaz: There is no link between SDPI and Pakistan. But, when contemplating on BJP's past, there is a connection between BJP and Pakistan. There are incidents of BJP workers being arrested in Jharkhand, Rajasthan for sharing internal secrets of the country to Pakistan. The accused were even convicted in those cases. Under Vajpayee's tenure, bus service started to Karachi. Narendra Modi who went to Pakistan had biriyani there. Kalladka Prabhakar Bhat termed Ullal is like Pakistan. RSS activists had hoisted Pakistan flag in Sindagi, following which they were caught. How can the SDPI workers shout slogans? What is the benefit for SDPI or for Muslims by raising pro-Pakistan slogans? It is only a loss. BJP has political gains in these issues. BJP workers try to create unrest by raising pro-Pakistan slogans during Rahul Gandhi's visit to Palakkad. Proper legal action should be taken against those who raise pro-Pakistan slogans. But, charging innocents in police cases is not fair. In such sensitive issues, the police department should hold an unbiased probe into the matter. There are possibilities where the video is doctored. After holding a detailed probe, only then the accused should be arrested. When accused belongs to the Muslim community, the process of arrest is done immediately. However, when the accused is an activist of a pro-Hindu organisation, the probe is delayed. Due to the occurrence of such instances, the police department needs to be suspected. The same has happened in Ujire. Still, we demand that the police department, without any political pressures, conduct an unbiased probe. Role of BJP and Sangh Parivar will be exposed in the case of Ujire as well and people will also come to know the truth.

DW: You had alleged that a member of BJP raised a pro-Pakistan slogan, do you have any say on this?

Riyaz: There will be allegations and counter-allegations. The police department should bring the truth out and they have all the latest technology to help them. We urge the police to discard the mentality where they feel they should work on the directions of the MLA, the minister in charge or the BJP state president.

DW: There are allegations that SDPI is provoking terrorist activities? Few say that SDPI is a part of the banned PFI. Leaders from different political parties are also alleging this.

Riyaz: Terrorism is a process of creating fear among society. Who is responsible for carrying out a procession by holding swords during Vijayadashami? Who killed people through mob lynching and demonstrating lethal weapons during the Ayudha Pooja? Are they not terrorists? SDPI was not involved in such activities. People in the country are aware as to who are terrorists. Muzaffarnagar incident, Gujarat riots are the biggest acts of terrorism. Those who are hurling accusations against SDPI are the ones who have been involved in the massacre. They are aware that SDPI is not as soft as Congress. Congress may accept Hindutva but SDPI cannot accept it.

DW: The CPI(M) leader Kodiyeri Balakrishnan termed that SDPI is ‘an Indian version of the Islamic State’. What do you have to say about that?

Riyaz: He should introspect about his own party. When there is a history of massacres in Congress, Muslim League and BJP, why point finger at SDPI. Eventually, people will come to know the truth and how transparent our party is.

DW: Do communists in Kerala fear SDPI?

Riyaz: Maybe. In future, if we grow, they will lose their base. All these criticisms will help us. We need not spend money on marketing, criticism from MP Shobha Karandlaje, UT Khader or the communist party will publicize our party.

DW: What is your opinion on SDPI's role in riots that took place in Bengaluru or violence in Mangaluru over NRC row? Will you say that SDPI has no role to play in these cases?

Riyaz: Absolutely. Everything should go as per law of the land prevailing the country. We cannot call the accused a culprit under our law. There are allegations and cases and we are ready to enter into a legal battle against these accusations. The truth will come out. Even police will have to submit proper evidence, but there will not be any evidence to provide as SDPI was not involved in these cases. In regard to the violence in Bengaluru, I have spoken directly to several officers. The police respond by saying 'Try to understand us', what do they mean 'understand us'. Even in the Ujire incident, their words were 'please understand us there is a pressure on us'. If anyone has committed offence let them take action. What is the connection between the police firing in Mangaluru and SDPI? Our party has not given a call for such protests. In the violence that took place in Mangaluru, the then police commissioner Dr Harsha had called up our district president Abdul Jaleel Krishnapura to the spot and later booked him in 17 cases. What kind of justice is this? Such kind of things should be stopped. Political interference in police cases should stop.

DW: How will it be possible for SDPI to secure 171 seats in Dakshina Kannada?

Riyaz: People have started to identify our party. There was no alternate option for the suppressed section of society. Even during the pandemic, our party workers extended help by providing ration and it was not something done for publicity. There is another such instance where the SDPI party workers stepped in to help and that is the flood situation in Beltangady. With help from donors, we provided shelter to the victims. Given the social concern we ensured the facilities of government reach the people, we even formed teams, information and empowerment centres in many areas. Through these centres, we have provided various information about the government facilities and people have recognised our efforts.

Watch Full Interview:





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Comment on this article

  • sense_Shetty, Mangalore

    Wed, Jan 13 2021

    First question that should have been asked .."Is SDPI a secular party and accepts others way of worshipping?". If the answer is in ambiguity ,then it is definitely a terrorist organisation

    DisAgree [1] Agree Reply Report Abuse

  • Nelson, Mangalore

    Tue, Jan 12 2021

    Lets accept a few facts - Eventually they are driven by Islamic values which are acceptable to thier community and to the rest of us. Everything else they say is nothing but plain rhetoric.

    DisAgree [3] Agree [1] Reply Report Abuse

  • Mohd, Mangaluru

    Tue, Jan 12 2021

    We don’t need communal parties in the country. Keep all the parties which promotes religious hatred - such as BJP, SDPI, AIMIM aside. SDPI is helping BJP by splitting congress votes is not a secret anymore. Muslims were never felt isolated until BJP was floated in 1980’s. They unsuccessfully did everything to come to power. They played Hindu-Muslim cards & created gap between the communities. But our own so called muslim leaders made BJP’s task easier.

    DisAgree [2] Agree [1] Reply Report Abuse

  • habib, mangalore

    Mon, Jan 11 2021

    what is the use of voting congress , after electing they go and join BJP . so we need alternate party AAP or SDPI or any other party they should stand strong in secularism .

    DisAgree [17] Agree [14] Reply Report Abuse

  • ethnic_orchid, Mangalore

    Mon, Jan 11 2021

    Congress has itself to blame. Firstly, the party does not have a leader since 2019 elections. Both in Center and in the state. Worthless tactics like press conferences, videos on talks with foreign economists , media interviews etc, all with the sole purpose of bashing Modi/BJP was rolled. While parties likes SDPI reached out to people, started visiting and meeting every house hold,( including mine )asking the issues and problems. They really did the ground work and consolidated people. Thats how the party grows. The results are phenomenal. I really wonder when the Congress will really learn from debacles. Most of the parties are already gearing up for 2023/24 elections.

    DisAgree [2] Agree [9] Reply Report Abuse

  • H. Almeida., Bendur/Andheri

    Mon, Jan 11 2021

    Readers, if we analyze n dissect the rise in SDPI in Karnataka, AIMIM in Telangana n AIUDF in Assam, we will realise that these fringe parties, have all germinated, due to neglect by the INC !!! They do have a devious, alliance with each other to checkmate the BJP in various states... The phenomenon gain for the BJP, is evident as they have absolutely won parliamentary and state elections... The losers are none other, then the Grand old Congress party... This new development has now irrevocably, created an unabridged, deep chasm, between the majority and the minority community in India... This is dangerous for the security and integrity of our Republic !!!!

    DisAgree [5] Agree [13] Reply Report Abuse

  • A.M. Belma, Mangalore

    Mon, Jan 11 2021

    The opposition is in chaos and divided . Its a big advantage for BJP, who will laugh all the way to the polls and victories. Unless there is unity among opposition its going to be doomed. The very casual attitude of Congress has led to the mushrooming and growing in strength of such parties. The is no point it proving whose B team SDPI is. Its better to work out a compromise formula right now.

    DisAgree [5] Agree [18] Reply Report Abuse

  • AM, Mangalore

    Mon, Jan 11 2021

    BJP always complaining about SDPI and PFI involved in terrorist activities and they want to ban them.
    In reality BJP is behind this SDPI to grow which will divide votes of congress and benefit them in election

    DisAgree [20] Agree [26] Reply Report Abuse

  • Prakash, Mangalore

    Mon, Jan 11 2021

    These small parties formed due to hatred politics from last few years.

    DisAgree [10] Agree [20] Reply Report Abuse

  • Khabib, Karkala

    Mon, Jan 11 2021

    Sdpi zindabad. Jai hind

    DisAgree [40] Agree [14] Reply Report Abuse

  • Pacific Heights, Mangalore

    Mon, Jan 11 2021

    I am not surprised. Sounds like Tortoise and hare race. The emergence of a new opposition was expected. Its all due to the over confidence of the Congress leaders. They thought and still believe that the current leadership will revive the fortunes of the party and win the elections in full majority. As the party relaxed and did internet bashing, other parties did their ground work at grass root level and well in advance . The results are showing.

    DisAgree [4] Agree [17] Reply Report Abuse

  • ethnic_orchid, Mangalore

    Mon, Jan 11 2021

    I have to disagree with you. Sorry to say , the Congress can bounce back with the current leadership. All they have to do is change their manifesto. Immediately include that if they come to power they will
    1. Implement Uniform Civil Code
    2. Bring back POK
    3. Stop minority appeasement.
    These steps are very proactive and will beat the BJP in their own game.

    DisAgree [1] Agree [6] Reply Report Abuse

  • David Pais, Mangalore

    Mon, Jan 11 2021

    sdpi's r islamic fundoos.

    DisAgree [16] Agree [46] Reply Report Abuse

  • N.M, Mangalore

    Mon, Jan 11 2021

    SDPI is the B team of BJP.

    DisAgree [41] Agree [13] Reply Report Abuse

  • abdul munim, UDUPI

    Mon, Jan 11 2021

    SDPI is same like BJP. A party founded on the basis of one religion. It is detrimental to the society.

    Right now only congress and jds are secular but are also not good due to poor leaders.

    Probably military rule is the best for this country which is reeking of corruption

    DisAgree [32] Agree [26] Reply Report Abuse

  • Fatima M.B., Mangalore

    Mon, Jan 11 2021

    Good going Sir, we are with you!

    DisAgree [47] Agree [17] Reply Report Abuse

  • H. Almeida., Bendur/Andheri

    Mon, Jan 11 2021

    Madam, the majority nor the other minority communities, are going to vote for this party... Likewise in Mumbai, we have AIMIM active, only in selected areas, which are dominated by just one section of a minority community....

    DisAgree [1] Agree [4] Reply Report Abuse

  • Andrea, Mumbai

    Mon, Jan 11 2021

    Bjp was founded on 1980, this guy needs to learn history f India.

    DisAgree [11] Agree [41] Reply Report Abuse

  • Sanjay, Hebri

    Mon, Jan 11 2021

    Second joke of 2021 after Mr m shetty's first joke😀😀

    DisAgree [7] Agree [28] Reply Report Abuse


Title : Mangaluru: 'Congress is BJP's war shield, protecting them' - SDPI's Riyaz Farangipet


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