Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Sunday criticised the Congress government in Karnataka for failing to solve the murder cases of Paresh Mesta and journalist Gauri Lankesh.

Singh, who addressed a Bharatiya Janata Party rally in Bengaluru, said that a government run by the party would thoroughly inquire into Lankesh’s death. “Culprits will be punished, we will not save anyone.”

Lankesh, a journalist known for her strong views against right-wing politics, was killed on September 5. Her death sparked protests around the country, and was seen by many as another in a spate of attacks that have targeted activists and writers critical of right-wing politics. Though Karnataka Home Minister Ramalinga Reddy said in November that the names of those involved would be revealed within weeks, the case has not been solved yet.

Mesta, who the BJP claimed was a Sangh Parivar activist, was found dead in a lake in Honnavur town in the state’s Uttar Kannada district on December 8, days after he went missing following communal tension in the locality. While the Karnataka government announced that it had decided to hand over the inquiry into Mesta’s death to the Central Bureau of Investigation, the BJP demanded an inquiry by the National Investigation Agency. The BJP on Friday said it would organise a “jail bharo” movement from December 19 in the district in protest against Mesta’s death.

‘BJP dousing fire’

Singh, meanwhile, also accused the Siddaramaiah-led government of communally polarising Karnataka by promising the Muslim community reservation in jobs and the education sector.

“Congress government here wants to divide Karnataka community to rule,” Singh said. “I received information that even though there is no such regulation in the Constitution, Muslim community here was befooled with reservation, which was later out ruled by the court.”

The minister took a shot at Congress President Rahul Gandhi, asking him if the problems of “communalism, terrorism and Naxalism” were the result of the BJP’s policies. “Did fire erupt in Kashmir due to the BJP’s policies?” Singh asked. “If someone formed governments by setting fire, it is the Congress. The BJP is trying to douse it.”

Singh also announced that the BJP would contest the Karnataka Assembly elections in 2018 under the leadership of BS Yeddyurappa.