Cong used religion to grab power; BJP believes in humanity: Rajnath in Karnataka

BJP leader and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh slams Congress for having introduced 4% reservation along religious lines in Karnataka “only to appease Muslims”

karnataka assembly polls
Rajnath Singh addresses a public meeting in Kagwad, Karnataka, on Wednesday | Screen grab: Twitter/Rajnath Singh

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Wednesday (April 26) came down heavily on the Congress, alleging that it used mazhab (religion in Urdu) to come to power.

Addressing a public meeting at Kagwad in Karnataka’s Belagavi district, Singh also slammed the party for having introduced 4 per cent reservation along religious lines during its earlier term in Karnataka. The BJP leader said it had been done only to appease Muslims.

“If there is any political party in the history of India which took the support of dharma, or rather, mazhab to come to power, then it is Congress,” Singh said at the meeting.

The Karnataka assembly polls are scheduled to be held on May 10 and the results on May 13.

Also read: Karnataka | Scrapping of 4% quota for Muslims not to be implemented till May 9: SC

Congress does “politics of Hindu, Muslim, Christians”

The Congress does the “politics of Hindu, Muslim, and Christians,” Singh said. “Politics of this sort should never ever be done.” The 4 per cent reservation was given along religious lines only to appease Muslims, he alleged.

“We will welcome if an economically-weaker Muslim or a Christian gets reservation benefits but the Constitution of India does not permit religion-based reservation, the Defence Minister said.

Just days before the Model Code of Conduct came into force, the BJP government in Karnataka scrapped 4 per cent reservation for Muslims under 2B category of the Other Backward Castes.

After making 2B redundant, the Karnataka government split the 4 per cent reservation, giving 2 per cent each to the two dominant communities of the state, Vokkaligas in 2C and Lingayats in 2D category.

Watch: Why Annamalai is confident BJP will breeze through majority mark in Karnataka

Muslims were then placed in the Economically Weaker Section (EWS) category.

Various Muslim bodies have approached the Supreme Court, which has directed the Karnataka government not to implement its decision until it hears the matter on May 9.

“BJP believes in justice, humanity”

Singh said there was “nothing hidden” about the character of the BJP, as the entire world knows about it. “The BJP never believes in discrimination along the lines of caste, creed, and religion. The BJP believes in insaaf aur insaaniyat (justice and humanity),” he claimed.

He added that the BJP followed the principles of 12th-century social reformer of Karnataka Basaveshwara. “The BJP is playing its role in India by following the principles of Basaveshwara,” the minister said.

Singh appealed to the people of Karnataka to give BJP a two-thirds majority in the 224-member Assembly.

(With agency inputs)