Hyderabad: AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi on Saturday, December 23 slammed Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah for his “contemplating hijab ban” remark after stating that the state would revoke the decision to ban hijab in educational institutions.
“It has been over 6 months since you came to power. What is there to “contemplate” in whether Muslim girls should have a right to education or not? Thanks to @siddaramaiah for clarifying that the hijab ban still continues to be enforced by “secular” Congress govt. The Muslims who voted for you must be very happy,” he remarked in a post on X.
Siddaramaiah on Saturday clarified that the administration was only contemplating lifting the ban on wearing hijab in educational institutions in the state and a decision will be taken after holding discussions at the government level.
Addressing reporters here, he said, “We haven’t done it (revoking Hijab ban) yet. Someone asked me a question (about lifting the Hijab ban). I replied that the government is considering revoking it.
Asked whether it would be done this academic year, the CM said it would be done after discussing it at the government level.
The clarification comes a day after he said that there was no restriction on wearing the religious headscarf in educational institutions and observed that choice of dress and food is personal.
The Congress government has come under sharp criticism from the opposition BJP over the announcement on hijab.
BJP calls move ‘appeasement politics’
The saffron party stated that the government’s move raised concerns about the “secular nature” of educational spaces.
Speaking to reporters in New Delhi, BJP Karnataka chief B Y Vijayendra accused Siddaramaiah of ‘vitiating’ the academic atmosphere.
Charging the Congress with indulging in ‘appeasement politics’ ahead of Lok Sabha elections, Vijayendra claimed, “even after so many years of independence, the literacy and employment rate among minorities is still 50 per cent. Congress never tried to elevate the condition of minorities.”
“Congress believes in the divide and rule policy which the British rulers had adopted. It amounts to carrying forward the British legacy,” he said.
Earlier, in a post on ‘X’, Vijayendra said the state government ‘divided’ young minds along religious lines.
“CM Siddaramaiah’s decision to withdraw the Hijab ban in educational institutions raises concerns about the secular nature of our educational spaces,” the Shikaripura MLA said.
“By allowing religious attire in educational institutions Siddaramaiah government is dividing young minds along religious lines, potentially hindering the inclusive learning environment.”
The BJP state chief stressed that it was crucial to prioritise education over divisive practices and foster an environment where students can focus on academics without the influence of religious practices.