BJP, JD(S) attack Siddaramaiah over remarks to raise grants for Muslim community
Calling the move ‘appeasement politics’, the Opposition demanded an explanation during the ongoing assembly session in Belagavi.
Leaders from the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Janata Dal-Secular JD(S) on Tuesday launched an attack on chief minister Siddaramaiah over his recent remarks at a convention of Muslim religious leaders in Hubballi, where he announced that he would ensure increased grants for the Muslim community. Calling the move ‘appeasement politics’, the Opposition demanded an explanation during the ongoing assembly session in Belagavi.
Former Karnataka chief minister and senior BJP leader Basavaraj Bommai on Tuesday accused the state chief minister Siddaramaiah of indulging in minority appeasement politics, while doing “injustice” to Dalits and tribal communities. “Chief minister Siddaramaiah yesterday [Monday] expressed his support for granting special rights to minorities in terms of national resources. However, many see this move as nothing more than appeasement politics aimed at securing votes,” Bommai posted on X.
“It appears that the CM has forgotten his duty to ensure justice for all citizens. It is worth noting that there already exist departments and organisations such as the Wakf Board, Minority Commission, and Minority Corporation, which receive funds for various programs aimed at minority development,” he added.
JD(S) state president HD Kumaraswamy echoed these sentiments, urging the chief minister to first release the budget allocated for Muslims in the current year. Kumaraswamy said that government should be working for the welfare of all communities rather than focusing on a single group, expressing reservations about frequent comments targeting one particular community.
“First ask the CM to release the budget that has been allocated this year. There is no doubt that it is appeasement politics. Frequent comments on one particular community are not good. The government is there for the welfare of all communities and not a single community,” Kumaraswamy said.
Defending his statement, chief minister Siddaramaiah said that there was nothing objectionable about his commitment to provide more funds for the Muslim community. He further emphasised on his determination to prevent any injustice against Muslims, citing his previous actions as chief minister, where he had augmented the budget for the Muslim community.
“When I was the CM [earlier], I had increased the budget for Muslims. That was reduced by the previous government. I have increased it again. I came to power in the middle of the year. I will increase the funds from next year. Even you [Muslims] have to get an education and your religious institutions have to be developed. You must also get a share of this country’s wealth,” said Siddaramaiah.
He further defended his position, challenging the notion that his commitment to the Muslim community was tantamount to appeasement. “What is wrong with that? I have told them that we will protect everyone, including Muslims. Is this appeasement?” questioned Siddaramaiah.