Bharatiya Janata Party State general secretary N. Ravikumar squarely blamed the alleged vote bank politics of the Opposition, particularly the Congress, for the flaring up of communal issues in Karnataka. He said that the party would back only issues that are supported by court orders and act against elements disrupting harmony.
Karnataka, known for peaceful co-existence, is now witnessing communal conflicts on a daily basis. What is the reason for this?
It is mainly due to vote bank politics of the Opposition, especially the Congress, which wants to use minorities for its own political convenience. The Opposition is not allowing Muslims to think independently. It has kept them in its stranglehold without bothering about their development.
The timing of communal events has given rise to doubts that it is part of the BJP’s strategy to polarise society ahead of elections.
There is no need for us to depend on such issues to win elections. In fact, people are intelligent and will back us only if they think we have done something good. If it was for electoral gains, then we would have insisted on strict implementation of court orders on azan immediately.
Fringe organisations are issuing statements that disturb communal harmony. Why is the Government yet to act?
The BJP wants to make it clear that it is backing only hijab and azan-related issues as they are supported by court orders. We will not support other demands. Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai has already said that action would be taken.
But the delay in acting appears to be affecting the State’s image. Entrepreneurs too have expressed concern.
An effort is being made to project that communal harmony is spoilt in Karnataka. In fact, Karnataka has received highest investments, including the FDI. Other States cannot match Karnataka in terms of ambience and image.
The Opposition says the Government allowed hijab issue to become a bigger controversy.
It is the Congress which played a crucial role in escalating the hijab issue even after the court issued its order. The party is scared of losing its vote bank and hence not allowing Muslims to follow the court order. There are a large number of educated persons in Muslim community. They should now come out and criticise Al-Qaeda’s statement and people using hijab row for inciting communal divide.