Karnataka Rural Development and Panchayat Raj Minister KS Eshwarappa has said Muslims who hesitate to vote for the Bharatiya Janata Party are traitors and support Pakistan, ANI reported on Monday.
“A rashtra bhakta [patriotic] Muslim will vote for the BJP, and those who are pro Pakistan and rashtra drohis [traitors] will hesitate to vote for the BJP,” Eshwarappa said at a public meeting in Bengaluru on Sunday.
He also compared Congress MLAs with eunuchs. “Before our government came to power, a few Congress MLAs showed their interest in joining the BJP,” the minister claimed. “But they were afraid of losing the elections, as 50,000 Muslims would not vote for them. This is a kind of hijada [eunuch] behaviour.” He added that right-wing oufits’ dream of “Akhanda Bharat” was not getting fulfilled because a certain section of politicians fears losing Muslim votes, reported FirstPost.
The minister said he always managed to get votes without pleasing the Muslim community. “…There is more than 50,000 Muslim votes [in my constituency],” he said. “I have till today not gone to a single Muslim saluting him for a vote. I have won by a lead of over 47,000 votes.”
Congress leader Rizwan Arshad said the minister’s comments were against the Constitution. “So, they are implying that Muslims who vote for other parties are against the country and in favour of Pakistan,” he said, according to Hindustan Times. “Is it right to equate the BJP with the country?”
Eshwarappa is known for his inflammatory and controversial remarks. Before the Lok Sabha elections, he had said the BJP would never field Muslim candidates because they do not trust the saffron party. In February 2018, he had reportedly said Muslims involved in violence against Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and BJP members were Congress supporters, while “good Muslims are with the BJP”.
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