Bengaluru, May 24 (IANS): The new Congress government in Karnataka is all set to remove the ban on hijab in the state, sources said on Wednesday.
The new government is waiting to settle down and complete the cabinet expansion.
While campaigning for the May 10 Assembly polls, the Congress, especially Deputy Chief Minister D.K. Shivakumar, had vehemently stated that ban on hijab and all laws made on communal basis by the previous BJP government would be withdrawn once the party assumes power in the state.
Asked about Amnesty International's rising concern on hijab ban in Karnataka, DyCM Shivakumar on Wednesday stated in Vidhana Soudha, "I don't want to comment on the matter of hijab as it is a policy matter."
However, Priyank Kharge, the cabinet minister addressing press reporters maintained that the Congress will withdraw the ban on hijab, halal cut and cow slaughter laws.
Sources claimed that the party is all set to withdraw these laws, including the Anti-Conversion law brought by the previous BJP government. A decision will soon be taken on the construction of a 114-foot tall Jesus Christ statue in Kapalabetta near Kanakapura town. This is proposed to be the largest Christ statue in the world.
The Hijab row which was started by six students of Udupi Pre-University Girl's College had turned out to be a crisis in the state last year. The students refusing to attend classes without hijab still maintain that they will wait for the final verdict of the Supreme Court.
The issue had taken a communal turn and resulted in revenge killings in the state. It had drawn the attention of global terrorist outfit Al-Qaeda at the height of the crisis. It is alleged that the ruling BJP used this issue to pursue its Hindutva agenda which clearly divided the society, especially the student community.
Sources say that the Congress is treading cautiously in the matter as the party is looking ahead for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. The party does not want to give an issue to the BJP.
But, some leaders of the party are of the opinion that the matter must be pursued like proposing a ban on Bajrang Dal in the manifesto which worked for the party. A decision will soon be taken in this regard, explain sources.