Mangaluru: Congress leaders criticise MLA Harish Poonja over Beltangady incident

Daijiworld Media Network - Mangaluru (VP)

Mangaluru, May 23: MLC Manjunath Bhandary and Congress district president Harish Kumar have criticized MLA Harish Poonja, demanding his immediate resignation following an incident in Beltangady. They called for re-elections and clarified that the case against Shashidhar Shetty involved possession of explosives used for quarry mining.

Addressing the media on Thursday, May 23, at the Congress office in Mallikatte, MLC Harish Kumar stated, "The incident in Beltangady involving MLA Harish Poonja shows he has wronged the people of Beltangady and insulted Dakshina Kannada residents. He secured his MLA position by promising to uplift the taluk, but his actions have disrespected his voters."

He further added, "Harish Poonja has supported rowdy sheeters involved in sand and quarry mafia. When arrested, Poonja went to the police station and insulted the officers. This behaviour has been repeated, and it reflects poorly on the BJP government."

MLC Manjunath Bhandary explained the specifics of the incident, stating, "The tahsildar received information about quarry mafia activities and found detonators during an investigation in Melantha Bettu. Shashidhar Shetty, a rowdy sheeter, was arrested for holding explosives. Harish Poonja then went to the police station and insulted the officers, which is unacceptable behaviour for a politician."

Both Bhandary and Kumar emphasized the need for politicians to act as role models and criticized Poonja for siding with rowdy sheeters. They also pointed out that Poonja's recent statements and actions have shown a lack of respect and understanding of Hinduism and local traditions.

When questioned about the police's handling of the situation, Harish Kumar defended the deployment of additional police personnel, stating it was necessary for safety. Manjunath Bhandary also clarified that the offence Poonja was involved in was bailable.

The Congress leaders urged Harish Poonja to focus on improving Beltangady rather than making inflammatory statements. They also expressed confidence in the Congress government's stability and criticized BJP leaders for undermining law and order.

Shalet Pinto, Suhan Alva and others were present.





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Title: Mangaluru: Congress leaders criticise MLA Harish Poonja over Beltangady incident

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