Karnataka Rural Development and Panchayat Raj Minister KS Eshwarappa evoked discomfort and resentment in the Muslim community and Congress with his provocative statement made at an event organised by the Sri Rama Sen on Monday.
“Patriotic Muslims voted for the BJP [Bharatiya Janta Party] but whoever is pro-Pakistan and is an anti-national Muslim, did not vote for the BJP,” Eshwarappa said.
Eshwarappa did not pause there. He went on saying that “Before the BJP government came to power, I happened to meet a couple of Congress MLAs who expressed a desire to come to the BJP, but claimed that they have over 50,000 Muslim votes in their constituencies and may face defeat if they lose that, which is kind of a ‘hijra’ [eunuch] behaviour.”
However, the BJP cast itself away from Eshwarrapa claiming that the statement made by him was personal and the party doesn’t propagate his beliefs. Union Minister DV Sadanand Gowda said, “The BJP follows the PM’s slogan of ‘Sabka Sath, Sabka Vikas Aur Ab Sabka Vishwas’ and added that whoever lives in India are all Indians and all are our people.”
Eshwarappa is believed to be the spearheader of the movement against the cow slaughter and wanted to bring a legislation in the state soon.
In 2010, The BJP government in Karnataka introduced the Karnataka Prevention of Cow Slaughter and Cattle Preservation Bill. It was passed in the assembly but later got quashed by the Governor. Later the Congress-led by Siddaramaiah revoked the Bill in 2013.
Eshwarappa had been advocating to bring it on the tables again.
However, it is not the first time Eshwarappa made it to the news for his controversial statements. In April, he alleged that the BJP does not prefer giving tickets to Muslims because of their trust issues with the party’s policies.
In December 2017, he ended up in a controversy when he suggested his party leaders to lie. “Lie if you have to, but don’t admit you don’t know,” the minister reportedly said in a video that went viral.