Ban on Muslim traders: BJP leader slams own govt in Karnataka
A senior BJP leader in Karnataka has come down heavily on right-wing organisations for their call to ban Muslim traders from temple premises.
H Vishwanath said such a move to target the community as a retaliatory gesture to the hijab row is condemnable. The member of Karnataka's legislative council has also accused the government of "indulging in religious politics".
Questioning the rationale behind such a move, he said, “Muslims have been living in other countries and they sell food and flowers. How does it matter?" he said.
"They're petty business-people, what will they eat? Hindu, Muslim doesn't matter. It is a question of empty stomachs," he was quoted as saying by NDTV.
The leader said the government is watching the clash between the two communities unfold in the state as a mute spectator, adding the government “must take a stand” on this.
Vishwanath said he had already "raised objections" with Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai.
Slamming the BJP's government, he said it is the state and not Bajrang Dal, RSS (BJP's ideological mentor Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh) or some factions,which can be held accountable for the problem.
He, however, refused to comment on if the state had succumbed to the right wing pressure.
Over the last couple of weeks, right-wing organisations in Udupi, the epicenter of the hijab row, demanded that non-Hindu traders be banned from temple premises. These outfits cited a bandh call by a section of Muslims against the Karnataka High Court verdict upholding the state government's ban on hijab.
As a result, authorities of the Maari Gudi temple in Udupi's Kaup did not allot any land to Muslims during the Suggi Maari Puja festival on March 22 and 23.