BJP, Cong spar over Azaan row in Karnataka

Bengaluru, April 5 : A blame game has erupted between the BJP and Congress over call to prayers at mosque over loudspeakers, or Azaan as it is called, ahead of state assembly elections to be held next year. Karnataka Home Minister Araga Janendra on Tuesday said the vote bank politics of Siddaramaiah and Congress is the reason for the Azaan row. “They (Congress) have been picking up one comm ty or the other. They pretty well know, if this chain of patronage breaks, they will fall flat. This is fear that dogs them,” he said. Jnanendra said the Congress does not talk tacitly about hijab or on any other matter which raises suspicion about their conspiracy. “After creating the controversies, nobody in the Congress talks tacitly on hijab or any other issue. DK Shivakumar has told them not to speak on hijab. Why? They should be talking. Isn’t it? Therefore, it is nothing, but their conspiracy,” he said. This controversy erupted in Karnataka after Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray’s warning to play the Hanuman Chalisa chants on loudspeakers right in front of mosques in protest of the Azaan on loudspeakers across Maharashtra. On Monday, Sri Ram Sene chief Pramod Muthalik in Dharwad threatened to toe the line of Thackeray to protest similar Azaan recitation across Karnataka mosques. Countering Janendra’s remarks, Leader of Opposition in Assembly Siddaramaiah alleged that it is the BJP that has created the Azaan row. Since the saffron party did not do any work for the people, it is raking up controversial issues like hijab, Bhagavad Gita and Azaan, he added. “Araga Jnanendra has fully failed as a home minister… Because the BJP has not done any work for the welfare of people, they are creating such controversies. “Azaan has been offered from mosques for the past so many years. Why is the BJP making an issue now?” he said. BDN ING

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