Basavaraj Bommai Says Fringe Groups’ Communal Statements No Big Issue


Fringe Groups' Communal Statements No Big Issue: Karnataka Chief Minister

Basavaraj Bommai statement comes after a message reportedly from the central BJP leadership. (File)


There is no communal tension in Karnataka and provocative statements by a “few fringe groups” is not a big issue, Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai claimed on Tuesday, amid growing religious strife in the state ahead of elections next year.

“There is no communal tension. Few fringe groups making provocative statements are not a big issue. We are following a clear regulation. Our duty is to take care of law and order and maintain peace,” he said.

“If any organisation tries to take law and order into their hands, we will quickly take stern action against them. There are few people behind them and provoking them. I have asked police officers to keep an eye on that,” Mr Bommai said.

“Yesterday, our DG (Police Chief) had spoken to all district officers and given clear instructions to take care of law and order situation, to take care of safety of people. We will not compromise in maintaining law and order,” he said.

BJP-ruled Karnataka, home to IT hub Bengaluru, has been increasingly in the news for growing right-wing religious bigotry that the opposition says has targeted Muslims for everything from what they wear, eat and where they trade.

Christian groups have also come under attack in the state over accusations of forced religious conversion – allegations that have not been backed by data, despite questions raised by the opposition and activists.

The Chief Minister’s comment on law and order comes after reports that the central leadership of the BJP has impressed upon Mr Bommai to ensure the party is not cornered over governance lapses ahead of elections due in May 2023.

Issues like halal meat and the hijab could win some votes, but the government must focus on the implementation of budgetary proposals and infrastructure projects, BJP’s top leaders Amit Shah and JP Nadda told Mr Bommai, according to The Indian Express.

Mr Bommai’s assurance also follows concerns raised by Biocon Chief Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, who became the first prominent industrialist to appeal to the Chief Minister to address the issue in the interest of the state’s IT and Bio-Technology sectors.

On Monday, former Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa of the BJP had also made an appeal to end the flare-up of communal issues in the state, saying Hindus and Muslims should lead their lives as “children of one mother.”


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