Bharatiya Janata Party National General Secretary CT Ravi on Tuesday claimed that halal meat was part of “economic jihad” by Muslims, the Hindustan Times reported.

“Halal” is the Arabic word for “permissible”. Halal meat, which is sanctified by Islamic law, involves killing an animal by cutting the jugular vein, carotid artery and windpipe.

Addressing reporters in Bengaluru, Ravi alleged that the concept of halal has been put in place so that Muslims do not do business with others.

Ravi claimed that Muslims refuse to buy meat from Hindus and asked why Hindus should buy meat from them, according to The New Indian Express.

Ravi’s statement came a day after Hindutva organisation Hindu Janajagruthi Samithi urged people to stop buying halal meat. It said that animals are culled by offering them to Allah in this process, and it would be offensive for Hindus to offer the meat to their gods.

A day after the Hindu new year festival of Ugadi, some Hindus offer meat as a ritual.

Meanwhile, Karnataka Education Minister BC Nagesh said that the government cannot do anything on the matter of halal meat, ANI reported.

“It is a religious practice and some people believe in it,” he said. “Halal is not the subject that comes under the purview of the government.”

Janata Dal (Secular) leader HD Kumaraswamy said that the government should act against those who are instigating people not to conduct business with Muslims, according to The New Indian Express.

“Even after such blatant attempts by vested interests to communalise issues, the government has not taken any action,” Kumaraswamy said. “It should remember it is a government of 6.5 crore people of Karnataka. I have seen provocative posts on WhatsApp, those behind these mischievous posts should be arrested and dealt with as per law.”

The JD(S) leader claimed that Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai was a “puppet of particular organisations”, in an apparent reference to the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh. He also urged Hindus not to allow the state’s harmony to be destroyed.

This is the second time in a month that Hindutva organisations in Karnataka have sought to target economic activities of Muslims.

In recent weeks, several temples in Karnataka have banned Muslim traders from opening stalls at annual fairs. The Hosa Marigudi temple in Mangaluru’s Kaup town did not allot stalls to Muslims during an auction for an annual fair held on March 22 and March 23.

In the Dakshina Kannada district, banners were placed at the Bappandu Durgaparameshwari temple, the Mangaladevi temple and the Puttur Mahalingeshwara temple barring non-Hindus from setting up stalls at fairs.

This was after Hindutva organisations Hindu Jagarana Vedike and Vishwa Hindu Parishad objected to allotting stalls to Muslims.