Cong’s rules barring non-Hindus from temple biz: BJP

Bengaluru, March 23 : Karnataka Law Minister JC Madhuswamy on Wednesday said the state government cannot take legal action against those who have disallowed Muslim traders from doing business around the temples as it was the erstwhile Congress government that made a rule in this regard in 2002. In retaliation to protest against hijab verdict, some of the temple authorities and organising committees have barred Muslims in particular from participating in festivals underway across temples in Udupi district. “One should not conceive that the state government encourages people to bar non-Hindus from doing business around the temples. “Actually, the temple authorities and fair committees have every right to bar non-Hindus from carrying out any business around the temples. This right was given to them by the Congress government by making a rule in 2002 under the Hindu Institutions and Charitable Endowments Act,” Madhuswamy said in the assembly here. The rule clearly bars anyone belonging to non-Hindu comm ties to carry out business in the vicinity of the temples, he said. “Therefore, the government cannot take legal action against those barring non-Hindus from installing any stalls near the temples and erecting such banners and posters,” Madhuswamy reasoned. However, the government would take action if any untoward incidents takes place due to erection of posters and banners barring Muslim traders from doing business, he said. The minister made these remarks in response to Congress MLA UT Khader’s statements. Earlier, the house plunged into pandemonium for a brief period after Khader called those erecting posters as cowards. Taking objection to it, MP Renukacharya and other BJP members vehemently criticised the Congress leader, asking Speaker Vishveshwar Hegde Kageri to expunge the unparliamentary word from the minutes. When the house returned to order, Khader clarified that he did not mention any names belonging to any religion, but raised concerns of a particular comm ty putting up banners barring Muslim traders from setting up stalls around temples. “I didn’t mention any religion… A few people are stopping roadside stalls of Muslims. These people are trying to work hard and trying to do business. It’s an open market,” he said. Khader demanded action against such elements as they were trying to disturb communal harmony. “Few people are trying to disturb the harmony by putting up banners in public places. People who put up banners don’t even name themselves. Police should be stopping this but rather the public are removing such banners to maintain harmony. Action should be taken against people who put up such banners,” Khader said. Karnataka Home Minister Araga Jnanendra has sought reports from police, assuring that the government will keep a close watch on law and order situation in the state. BDN ING

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