Karnataka Rural Development Minister K S Eshwarappa on Saturday said the BJP will not give ticket to a Muslim in the by-election to Belagavi Lok Sabha seat. Noting that Belagavi was one of the centres of Hindutva, he said the ticket will be given to its proponents.
“In BJP there is no question of Kuruba, Lingayat, Vokkaliga or Brahmin community, we will all sit together and discuss, this is the system, a democratic way. In no party other than BJP there is a democratic system,” Eshwarappa pointed out.
Speaking to reporters in Belagavi, the senior BJP leader said state and national leaders will select a candidate who can win by gaining the trust of the people. “Whether we give (ticket) to Kurubas or Lingayats or Vokkaligas or Brahmins, we will not give to a Muslim. Belagavi is one of the centres of Hindutva, there is no question of us giving tickets to Muslims here,” Eshwarappa said in response to a query. We will give tickets to Hindutva proponents, I don’t know whether we will give it to followers of Sangolli Rayanna, Kittur Chennamma (freedom fighters) or Shankaracharya, he added.
The Belagavi Lok Sabha seat fell vacant recently following the death of Union Minister of State for Railways Suresh Angadi, who represented the seat, due to COVID-19. The bypoll for the seat is yet to be announced by the Election Commission.
This is not the first time Eshwarappa has made such comments. In April last year, Eshwarappa had in Koppal said BJP will not give tickets to Muslims to contest the elections as they do not believe in the party.
However, he had subsequently clarified that he was not hater of any community including Muslims and his statement was in response to a question about a specific leader from the community getting a ticket from the BJP. PTI