Minorities doubt Yeddyurappa's secular avatar
By S Rajashekara | ENS - BELGAUM
07th December 2012 09:10 AM
Former chief minister B S Yeddyurappa may be making all efforts to shed his saffron image by reaching out to Muslims, but the community is still sceptical about his secular credentials.
The community leaders feel it is too early to judge the true meaning of Yeddyurappa’s public utterances.
“He has been an RSS and BJP ideologue for decades. I have also read that his party would follow the RSS ideology. In such a case, how can one believe him?” asked Abdul Masood Khadir, convener of Karnataka Muslim Muttaida Mahaz.
“When Yeddyurappa was the chief minister there was no Muslim representation in the Karnataka Public Service Commission (KPSC) . It is too early to judge him,” he added.
Former MLC and author of Karnataka Muslims and Electoral Politics Quazi Arshad Ali also said it was difficult to imagine a secular Yeddyurappa. “He has been aggressively pursuing the RSS and BJP ideologies for decades. How can he change overnight?”
He also said the community’s representation was neglected in appointments to academic councils and university Syndicates and academic bodies when Yeddyurappa was in power.
On Yeddyurappa’s plans to field at least 30 Muslim candidates in the Assembly polls from the Karnataka Janata Party (KJP), Ali asked why not a single ticket was given to a Muslim candidate when he was in the BJP.
“These are political statements aimed at electoral politics,” said Sadaquath Peeran, former member of the KPSC and former president of Al Ameen Education Society.
Referring to Shimoga MP and Yeddyurappa’s son B Y Raghavendra’s statement that the KJP would be built on the RSS ideology, Peeran said, “How can one trust Yeddyurappa when they are making such statements. May be a few individuals seeking a space in political spectrum believe him, but it is too difficult for a practising Muslim to trust Yeddyurappa.”
He said, “I am amazed that he went to a Muslim place of worship, probably for the first time in his life, in Hubli. Voters are smart enough to see through the prism and take a decision.”
Anwar Sharieff, chairman Jumma Masjid Trust, Bangalore, said as long as one was honest in rendering service to the public, people would back him.
“If these noises are only for the elections, then people will not believe and support such parties and leaders,” he said.
Former minister Jabbar Khan Honnali, who recently joined the KJP, however, said anyone who was detached from the RSS and the BJP would be supported by the community.
“Yeddyurappa has come out of the BJP and says that he will fight against it, why not trust him?” he asked.
According to political analyst and Pro Vice-Chancellor of Jain University Sandeep Shastry, the Muslims are divided between the Congress and the JD(S).
“There is no reason to say Muslims will drift away from those parties,” he said.
He, however, said there was a possibility of Muslims supporting the KJP if the political base of either those parties became weak.
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