Bengaluru: Renowned actor Prakash Belawadi on Tuesday courted controversy after he said in a Facebook post that a large-scale Hindu-Muslim riot worse than the Gujarat riots of 2002 was inevitable in West Bengal. He also added that it was already too late to stop it from happening.

In the post, Prakash recalled an incident from 2002 when the Gujarat riots took place and added “On that morning of 27 February, when 59 pilgrims were burnt alive in a train at Godhra, a liberal friend, with whom I am no longer friends, called me from Ahmedabad: That will teach these Sanghis a lesson, he said or something to that effect. I said the retaliation would be swift and terrible. It was…”

Stating that the Gujarat riots were practically one-sided given Muslims made up only 8% of Gujarat’s population, he said it will be different in West Bengal as its 30% population is Muslim. He went on to add that it will not be a factor to stop the riot from happening and that it will come “in the fullness of time”.

“Of course, that riot was practically one-sided since Muslims made up only 8% of the population in Gujarat. In West Bengal, it’s different: the Muslim population is over 30%. The retaliation won’t be swift. But make no mistake, it will come in the fullness of time, a Hindu-Muslim riot. When it does, it will be tragic, brutal, and organized. The state govt which seems cool about it now, and the liberals who seem to think the Sanghis deserve it, will have a reckoning” he said while adding “It’s already too late to stop it. It is sickeningly inevitable”.

The post anguished users who were quick to object to it prompting Prakash to delete the post. “Now that the argument is going ad hominem, I’m going off FB for a few months. Bye,” he wrote before deleting the post.

When Vartha Bharati contacted Prakash on the matter, the actor disconnected the calls saying he will not comment on the issue.

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Bengaluru (PTI): Senior politician Basavaraj Horatti, who recently resigned as the Chairman of Karnataka Legislative Council and MLC, on Wednesday joined the BJP.

He joined the party in the presence of Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai, former Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar, BJP national General Secretary C T Ravi, Ministers R Ashoka, Govind Karjol, C C Patil among others.

"Basavaraj Horatti has been a member of the Legislative Council for nearly 45 years and has served as its Chairman and Minister. He is a leader with lot of experience, commands a lot of respect and has been working for the cause of teachers. After deciding to join BJP he met Union Home Minister Amit Shah and resigned from his post and has officially joined the party today," Bommai said.

Speaking to reporters after welcoming the senior leader, he said, BJP is organising a huge programme in Hubballi shortly, to mark his induction into the party.

"His joining has strengthened the party. No one has the record of being an MLC for such a long time in the entire country. It has strengthened the party especially in the north Karnataka region. We will use his experience and will give him all the opportunities and respects he deserves," he added.

With this, Horatti, who has been elected as MLC seven successive times from 1980, has ended his long association with the JD(S).

He is likely to be fielded as the BJP's candidate for the upcoming MLC polls from West Teachers' constituency. Considered to be the senior-most MLC, the 76-year-old was seen as a prominent Lingayat face of the JD(S) from north Karnataka.

He had been education minister in the state, and was elected as the Chairman of the Legislative Council in February 2021.