Senior BJP leader KS Eshwarappa said that it won’t give tickets to Muslims as the community doesn’t trust the party. In a video clip aired by CNN-News 18, Eswarappa says, "The Congress believed Muslims were vote bank. But because Muslims have stopped voting for them, they've stopped giving seats to Muslims.” He goes on to add, “We won't give tickets to Muslims in Karnataka. Why? Because you don't believe in us. Believe us and we'll see."
The former Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister was speaking a party gathering targetted towards Muslims and his own Kuruba community. Eshwarappa, however, later clarified that he is “not the hater of any community including Muslims” and that his comments were in response to a question on whether Iqbal Ansar, who jumped from JD(S) to BJP recently will get a ticket.
Correction:I'm not the hater of any community including Muslims. My statement was about a question asked will "Iqbal ansari" get ticket from BJP?Whenever a new person joins he is not given any post,he has to work hard and earn the post,similarly i had mentioned about Iqbal Ansari https://t.co/aQ9L8UrFtY— Chowkidar K S Eshwarappa (@ikseshwarappa) April 2, 2019
Reacting to a media report on Monday’s speech, Hyderabad MP and AIMIM chief Assaduddin Owaisi on Twitter, said, “A con job only works when the victim doesn’t know they’re being conned.”
Eshwarappa, however, is no stranger to controversies and has made multiple such politically incorrect statements in the past. Ahead of the Karnataka Assembly Elections in 2018, he had alleged Muslims who are with Congress were “killers” while those with the BJP were “good Muslims”.
“Muslims who killed 22 RSS and BJP activists are with the Congress and those who are good Muslims are with the BJP," he had told reporters in Tumakuru on January 31, 2018.
In December 2017, he had stirred controversy after a video of him purportedly telling his party workers to lie went viral. “Lie if you have to, but don't admit you don't know,” he reportedly said.
He also allegedly added, “Did you know that Pakistanis hacked Indian soldiers to death during Vajpayee’s rule. But have you seen it? In such situations, say that Pakistan never dared to threaten us during Vajpayee period. At the same time, during Manmohan Singh's period, Pakistani soldiers attacked and slaughtered Indian soldiers. When it comes to Narendra Modi, tell that the Pakistanis are never spared. Ten people were killed and Narendra Modi is a strong man. What's wrong in saying it? There may not be much you know, but use Narendra Modi's name. The entire world accepts the fact that Modi is a strong man, so what's the harm in hyping it?