Karnataka: BJP MLA says Muslims keep weapons in mosques
An MLA of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has sparked a fresh controversy by saying that Muslims store weapons inside mosques, and rarely pray there. The politician who passed the despicable remarks is MP Renukacharya, who has been serving as the political secretary to Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa since 2019. After his words surfaced, BJP distanced itself from them.
Lethal weapons like swords, knives are stored in mosques: Renukacharya
Renukacharya was speaking at a rally, organized to drum support for the newly-implemented Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), at his home town Honnalli in Davenagere district. Accusing Muslims of keeping lethal weapons like swords, knives and soda bottles, he said, "Instead of offering prayers (namaz), Muslims are storing weapons in mosques and their priests (khazis) are giving fatwas instead of sermons."
No support, no funds: Renukacharya's message to Muslims
Not stopping at that, Renukacharya said the absence of Muslims from the event testified their disdain for CAA, hence, he will also "divert" funds earmarked for them to Hindus. "If they (minorities) consider our party (BJP) to be enemy despite treating them as equals, I too will ignore them and not entertain them if they continue to oppose our policies and programs," he said.
He also slammed Congress and JD(S)
"Today, Congress and JD(S) workers are jobless. People no longer attend their political meetings. You support the minority community and mock Modiji, Yediyurappa. You expect us to stay mum? After Modiji became PM, no incident of communal riot has been reported," he added.
Renukacharya's comments don't represent BJP, said spokesperson
His controversial remarks obviously brought bad news for BJP, but the party was prompt to disown them. Karnataka BJP spokesperson S Prakash said, "The party distances itself from such statements. He (Renukacharya) has made these statements in his personal capacity and the BJP has nothing to do with anything he said." But another member said the comments will be reviewed.
"Will act against offenders keeping weapons in mosques"
"We will review what he (Renukacharya) said, the context in which he said it, and act against offenders if weapons are found in mosques," G Madhusudhana, another spokesperson of the saffron party, was quoted by news agency IANS.
Not the first time a BJP MLA passed communal remarks
Renukacharya isn't the first BJP member to make communal remarks. Earlier, BJP MLA Somashekar Reddy warned Muslims of "consequences". "Congress people are lying to you, believing them you are coming on the streets. We are 80%, you are 17%, if we react, what will be your situation? Be careful, (sic)" Reddy had said. Later, a case was registered against him.
BJP firm on not withdrawing law, SC gave it time
BJP has been organizing pro-CAA rallies to garner support for the controversial law. Yesterday, Union Home Minister Amit Shah addressed one such gathering at Lucknow and reiterated that the law will not be withdrawn, and the protests can continue. Today, the Supreme Court also refused to stay the law and gave Centre four weeks' time to file their response.