Stoking a controversy, Renukacharya, BJP MLA from Karnataka on Tuesday accused Muslims of storing swords, knives and soda bottles, in mosques across the state. Distancing the party from his remark, BJP spokesperson S Prakash has said that he has made the comment in his own "personal capacity".
Expressing disappointment over the non-participation of the minorities in the rally, the MLA in a commu he was disheartened by the radical change in them (Muslims) against him and his party, even though he never differentiated or discriminated against anyone. "As an MLA for all, I have been hosting Muslims, embracing them and offering them tea and snacks when we meet. If they don't want me, then I too will keep away and won't ask for their votes," Renukacharya said in the regional language.
#BJP Lawmaker M P Renukacharya from Karnataka spreading hatred against #Muslims.— DOAM (@doamuslims) January 22, 2020
He calls Muslims traitors and says Muslims don't pray but collect weapons inside mosques!#India #Islamophobia #IndiaAgainstCAA#IndiaAgainstCAA_NRC#indiansagainstcaa pic.twitter.com/fRHBbwnGdd
On Tuesday, Renukacharya speaking at a pro-CAA rally in his home town Honnalli in Davenagere district of Karnataka said: "Instead of offering prayers (namaz), Muslims are storing weapons in mosques and their priests (khazis) are giving fatwas instead of sermons,"
Renukacharya, who is currently the political secretary to Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa, also said that since the Muslims had not responded to his call to support the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) as evident from their absence at the rally, he would divert funds earmarked to their welfare to Hindus in his Assembly constituency.
"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 programmes," he said in Kannada.
The BJP has distanced itself from Renukacharya's statement. 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." However, news reports quoted another party spokesperson G. Madhusudhana saying, "We will review what he (Renukacharya) said, the context in which he said it, and act against offenders if weapons are found in mosques."