The former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah lashed out at the BJP and accused it of pursuing the ‘’politics of hate’’ in quest of power, referring to the hijab issue and Muslim traders being barred from doing business in temple fairs.
Mr. Siddaramaiah told mediapersons in Mysuru on Friday, “What is wrong with Muslim girls wearing a headscarf when Hindu women also drape the pallu over their head? Similarly, certain religious heads sometimes cover their head with clothing. Will you question the seers over the issue?’’ The BJP was creating fissures in society, he added.
He said people of the State were intelligent enough to see through the gameplan of the BJP and lashed out at the State Government for what he alleged was discrimination in awarding compensation in the unfortunate incident of deaths due to communal violence.
Mr. Siddaramaiah cited a few examples supportive of his claims and said there was variance in the quantum of compensation awarded based on the religion of the victims. This was nothing but a sinister attempt to consolidate the votes of the Hindu community but it will backfire on the BJP, said Mr. Siddaramaiah. He also called for sacking BJP MLA M.P. Renukacharya in the light of the false caste certificate episode and said misuse of caste certificate was a grave offence.
On Speaker’s remark
Referring to the row in the Legislative Assembly over the Speaker saying ‘’our RSS’’, Mr. Siddaramaiah said it was wrong on the part of Vishweshwar Hegde Kageri to have said so. Once anyone occupies the chair of the Speaker, they should be impartial, he added.
Mr. Siddaramaiah said the Congress was always opposed to the RSS because it promoted a culture of caste supremacy and adhered to the “Manuvadi beliefs”. Besides, it had no role in the freedom struggle and was known to be pursuing a socially divisive agenda, he added.
The RSS was keen to revive the caste-based social system and never fought for the rights or the emancipation of the Dalits and hence it had to be opposed, Mr. Siddaramaiah said.
Several BJP leaders, including Education Minsister B.C. Nagesh, took exception to Mr. Siddaramaiah “dragging religious leaders” into the issue by referring to their headgear. Responding to this, Congress leader U.T. Khadar said the BJP was creating a controversy where none existed.
‘Statements being distorted’
In a series of tweets, Mr. Siddaramaiah hit back at the BJP saying his statement made in a particular context was being “deliberately misrepresented” by the BJP.
“Sadly, a section of the media has also joined hands in this endeavour,” he said. “I have had good relations with seers from all communities and respect them. I have in no way disrespected them. The prominent seers of the State themselves know this, which is why they have remained silent. I thank all of them,” he said.