Shivamogga, Mar 20 (IANS): BJP MLA and former Karnataka Minister K.S. Eshwarappa on Monday trigerred a fresh controversy calling it an 'act of sedition', after a video of a Muslim youth performing 'Azaan' at the premises of the District Commissioner's office in Shivamogga district went viral on the social media.
Speaking to the media, Eshwarappa said that the youth, who performed Azaan is associated with the Socialist Democratic Party of India (SDPI). The police had booked the youth under IPC Section 107 and granted him bail.
"I will write a letter in this regard to the Chief Minister and Union Home Minister," the MLA added.
"They have announced that they will perform Azaan in the premises of the Vidhana Soudha. They are insulting Allah. They are violating the Supreme Court guidelines by performing Azaan on loudspeakers. The students who are writing exams are facing difficulties because of Azaan," Eshwarappa said.
"This is a system which will destroy democracy. The people who will perform Azaan like this don't know whether they are living in Pakistan or India. Why do we need government departments if this is what is happening? This incident has caused serious threat to democracy," he added.
"With total disregard, they have challenged that Azaan will be performed opposite Vidhana Soudha. When I was delivering speeches in Virajpet and Mangaluru, Azaan was performed on loudspeakers," he said.
"This is against the constitution. The court has given specific directions regarding performing Azaan on loudspeakers."
Asked about JD (S) leader and former Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy criticising him and the BJP for issuing statements on Azaan, Eshwarappa asked him that doesn't he know the directions of the Supreme Court in this regard?
The members of Muslim community had staged a protest before the District Commissioner's office in Shivamogga, condemning the statements of Eshwarappa on Azaan.
One of the young protestors had performed Azaan before the main entrance during the protest. The police had objected to this and there was an exchange of words between police and the protestors.
The community leaders had warned the youth and pacified the situation. Later, the police had sent back the protesters.
JD (S) leader Kumaraswamy had held BJP responsible for the controversy and also slammed the role of a few miscreants.
Earlier, Eshwarappa had stirred a controversy in Karnataka by stating that Allah listens only if the Azaan prayers are done on loudspeakers.
Speaking at a rally organised as part of the Vijay Sankalp Yatra, while delivering a speech at Shantinagar in Kavoor near Mangaluru on Sunday, Eshwarappa made these controversial statements after hearing prayers from mosques.
"Wherever I go, this is a headache," he had said.
"We call people who need loudspeakers to be heard as deaf. The Supreme Court had given the order in this regard. This problem is going to be solved. There shall be no doubts in this regard," Eshwarappa added.
"Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given a call to respect all religions. But, will Allah listen to prayers if done on loudspeakers?" Eshwarappa asked.
"We also carry out worship in our temples. Sholaks and bhajans are performed. Even we have more devoutness and respect towards god than them," he stated, referring to Muslims.
These statements have created a massive controversy in the state and progressive thinkers have slammed Eshwarappa for his statements.