02, Apr 2019 | CJP Team
In another instance of hate speech, senior BJP leader and MLA from Karnataka, KS Eshwarappa, has said that Muslims won’t get the party ticket as they don’t trust the party. He said, “Congress uses you only as a vote bank, doesn’t give you a ticket. We won’t give Muslims tickets because you don’t believe in us. Believe us and we’ll give you tickets and other things.”
“If Ansari wants a BJP ticket, he should first join the BJP and sweep the office floor for at least ten years.” Reportedly, he was ‘responding’ to comments made by former MLA Iqbal Ansari.
Eshwarappa has a habit of staying in controversies because of such speeches. In January 2019 he said that the former chief minister Siddaramaiah had gone crazy (pagal) after losing his chief ministerial position, and hence resorted to attacking the BJP leader, BS Yeddyurappa.
#HateFreeElections is CJP’s campaign to monitor the public discourse for hate speech during the 2019 elections. This is also a part of our broader Hate Watch campaign. You can take action against hate too, by sending us reports of instances of hate using our Hate Hatao app, and donating to support our efforts.
Eshwarappa, who is now 70, is a member of the Kuruba backward caste, and is also known for making controversial and sexist statements. He belongs to the first generation of BJP leaders from the area. Eshwarappa won his first Assembly election in 1989 from Shimoga. Despite facing defeats, he remained a legislator with nominations to upper house (legislative council). He has headed the BJP unit from as long back as in 1993, and has enjoyed a position of seniority since then.
Earlier, Eshwarappa also remarked that Muslims who had killed 22 RSS and BJP karyakartas were with the Congress, while the ‘good Muslims’ were with BJP. He has also said in the past that then-Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, and Home Minister KJ George would have “feelings” for survivors of sexual assault only if their daughters were “raped”.
In 2013, criminal cases were filed against Eshwarappa for inciting hate speech, and he had also received a notice from the Election Commission for violating the code of conduct. In that particular incident, Eshwarappa, who was then serving as the deputy chief minister, had said, “Young Muslim men are getting involved with Hindu women as part of love jihad.”
Also in 2013, an FIR was reportedly lodged against him for ‘offering large amounts’ to women during ‘arti’ processions. Eshwarappa has held posts of the Rural Development and Panchayat Raj, and Revenue portfolios in the Jagadish Shettar cabinet, and is a former BJP state unit President.
Karnataka will have elections in two phases on April 18 and April 23. The BJP is fielding candidates in all 28 Lok Sabha constituencies. It is clear that yet again, the party has resorted to controversies and hate speeches in an attempt to gain votes.