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Updated December 24th, 2023 at 08:38 IST

Siddaramaiah's U-turn on withdrawing Hijab ban, says revocation of ban in consideration

Reversing his stand on the Hijab ban, he told the reporters in Mysore that it would be done after discussions at government level.

Nishtha Narayan
siddaramaiah
Siddaramiah makes shocking U-turn on withdrawing Hijab ban; says revocation of ban to be done after discussion with govt | Image:ANI
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Bengaluru: After facing backlash from the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Vishwa Hindu Parishad( VHP) over his decision to withdraw ban on Hijab, Karnataka Chief minister Siddaramaiah took a U -turn on his decision on Saturday. 

Reversing his stand on the Hijab ban, he told the reporters in Mysore that it would be done after discussions at government level and denied to answer further questions. On Friday, a row erupted after  Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah, during an inauguration of a police station in Nanjangud, said that his government has decided to withdraw the Hijab ban. He instructed officials to start process. He said, “No more there will be a ban on Hijab. You can wear a Hijab and go (go to schools). ” He declared, “wearing and eating what you want and like is your choice.”

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Hijab ban was put by the previous ruling dispensation BJP in the southern state after a controversy erupted at a government PU college for girls in Udupi district. In December 2021, Udupi government PU college asked students to remove their Hijabs in classroom. Refusing to follow the order, six students were disallowed to attend the classes. This sparked national debate and protests . Later, the BJP ruled regime issued an order directing students to adhere to the prescribed uniforms. The Karnataka High Court upheld the order on March 15. 

The court observed that wearing a headscarf is not essential religious practice of Islam . The controversy then reached Supreme Court. 

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BJP slams Congress in Karnataka over withdrawal of Hijab ban 

After Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah announced his plans to withdraw the Hijab ban in schools, overturning last government's decision, the Bharatiya Janata Party has come down heavily on the Congress CM, alleging that he is bringing divisive politics in the educational spaces, asserting that they must be "secular”.

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Hitting out at Siddaramaiah, veteran BJP leader and former CM BS Yediyurappa said, "Nobody demanded Siddaramaiah to withdraw this hijab decision. All the communities are together. To attend the classes, the same uniform is required, this has been decided by the court also."

Yediyurappa said that the decision has been as a bid to appease the minority population. “Just to please the Muslim community, Siddaramaiah has taken this hasty decision... I condemn that and he must withdraw the decision immediately... This will not affect the Lok Saha elections... In the coming Lok Sabha elections, people will teach them a lesson," Yediyurappa said.

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Karnataka BJP chief BY Vijayendra called the announcement unfortunate. “Yesterday's statement of Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah regarding the hijab issue is really unfortunate. It is very unfortunate that Siddaramaiah has said that he will allow hijab in educational institutions. The chief minister could have at least spared education institutions from the dirty politics," said Vijayendra.

"No children from the minority or Muslim community have demanded hijab, but the CM claims that he will allow hijab in the schools and education institutions, it clearly shows the intent of the CM. It is just appeasement politics, and it is purely divide and rule practice followed by the congress party. We strongly condemn the move," Vijayendra added.

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Former BJP CM Basavaraj Bommai said that it was like raking up an old issue. "If you look at the pattern, that Siddaramaiah is doing, initially, he said that he will give Rs. 10,000 crores for the minority... This government has failed on all fronts. Congress MLAs are criticizing and they are writing letters that no funds have been allotted for any development. For the last 6 months, there has been no development at all... There is a discontent among the people. There is a drought in the state and there is also the Cauvery issue... He has better business to do than raking up this old issue which has been in the Supreme Court,” said Bommai.

"Everybody has a choice, but that doesn't mean that anybody is above the law... There is a certain decorum... Supreme Court will take cognizance... It is a political statement. He is trying to wedge the society," he added.

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BJP MLA warned of potential demands of allowing saffron shawls

Udupi MLA Yashpal Suvarna said that if Hijab is allowed, then there might be demands of allowing saffron shawls. Former BJP minister K S Eshwarappa compared Siddaramaiah with to Mohammed bin Tughlaq and warned of violence if Hijab is allowed in schools and colleges. BJP Karnataka Chief BY Vijayendra alleged that Siddaramaiah is “vitiating the academic atmosphere”. He slammed Congress for indulging in appeasement politics ahead of 2023 Lok Sabha polls. 
 

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Published December 24th, 2023 at 08:23 IST

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