Karnataka Leader of the Opposition Siddaramaiah faced flak on Friday for his comments on Udupi BJP MLA Raghupathi Bhat over the hijab row.
At a news conference, Siddaramaiah said it was Bhat, the college development council chairperson, who made uniform mandatory. “That MLA chaired a meeting it seems. Who is that MLA? Raghupathi Bhat…and he decided that uniform will be compulsory. Who is Raghupathi Bhat to decide,” Siddaramaiah said.
Bhat took to Twitter to hit back at Siddaramaiah. “I am elected by the people. Unlike you, I don’t depend on someone else’s constituency after being rejected in one’s own. The Constitution has given me the right to represent my constituents,” Bhat said.
Bhat also pointed out that the Government Girls’ PU College in Udupi had a prescribed uniform when Siddaramaiah was chief minister between 2013 and 2018. “Until now, nobody had protested saying hijab is their right. Where were you then for you to now say hijab is a fundamental right? Congress’ vote-bank politics won’t work in Udupi,” he said.
Primary & Secondary Education Minister BC Nagesh also took exception to Siddaramaiah’s ‘derisive’ reference to Bhat. “To speak about an MLA like that is unbecoming of a former chief minister,” he said.
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