Union minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar on Thursday said that industrialist Kiran Mazumdar Shaw’s recent comments about a “religious divide” in Karnataka were wrong as there was no such problem in the state, ANI reported.
“There are some elements who try and create some trouble,” he said, according to ANI. “These narratives are created by parties like Congress before the elections to distract from their political irrelevance, they keep dragging such issues.”
On March 31, Mazumdar-Shaw had urged Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai to address these matters. “Karnataka has always forged inclusive economic development and we must not allow such communal exclusion,” the chief of biopharmaceutical company Biocon had written on Twitter.
Muslims in Karnataka have repeatedly been targeted by Hindu supremacists over the last couple of months. Muslim students and teachers have been harassed since the state government imposed a ban on wearing hijabs in educational institutions. Hindutva organisations in the state have also objected to Muslims setting up stalls near temples.
However on Thursday, Chandrasekhar claimed that there were no communal problems in Karnataka. He said that Mazumdar-Shaw’s take on several matters have been proved wrong in the past.
Chandrasekhar also said that there was no problem in Bengaluru that could not be solved by the government. “CM [Chief Minister] has said that those who violate the law will be investigated and prosecuted,” he said. “Bengaluru is a cosmopolitan city.”