Bengaluru News : This came even as the former chief minister has tried to downplay the issue and assert his right to choice of food, while questioning as to whether god has prescribed any food while visiting temples.
BJP leaders in Karnataka are targeting senior Congress leader Siddaramaiah for reportedly going to a temple during his recent visit to Kodagu district after eating non-vegetarian food, and have accused him of hurting religious sentiments.
This came even as the former chief minister has tried to downplay the issue and assert his right to choice of food, while questioning as to whether god has prescribed any food while visiting temples.
He, however, did not give any clarification on food consumed before visiting the temple in Kodagu district.
Siddaramaiah visiting Basaveshwara temple in Kodlipet after allegedly eating non-vegetarian food has triggered a controversy.
BJP MLA Basanagouda Patil Yatnal, suggested that local temple traditions should be followed if one wants to visit shrines, and thereby respect the feelings of the faithful.
“Siddaramaiah or anyone should not hurt the feelings of the faithful. If you (Siddaramaiah) have guts, eat pork and visit a mosque,” he challenged.
Accusing Siddaramaiah of trying to hurt sentiments of the people, Member of Parliament Mysuru-Kodagu Pratap Simha, pointed to an earlier incident by alleging that as the then chief minister he had offered customary floral tributes to Goddess Chamundeshwari, the reigning deity of Mysuru, during the Dasara ‘jamboo savari’ procession, after eating non-veg food.
“He did this in 2017, I’m a witness to it…thereafter, he lost power and could not offer floral tributes from next year,” Simha said, as he addressed Siddaramaiah as ‘Siddu Sultan’ and accused him of appeasement politics.
State BJP Vice President B Y Vijayendra, targeting Siddaramaiah, said people may have freedom to choose their food, but there is culture and tradition in the southern state and people here respect and follow certain religious practices.
“Those in big positions should not behave or make statements that hurt sentiments of people,” he said.
Siddaramaiah, the leader of opposition in the state assembly, on Sunday said he is a non-vegetarian and it is his food habit, and questioned as to whether the God has said what to eat and what not to before visiting temples.
“I had lunch at a guest house… Has God prescribed any specific food?… It seems one can consume meat during the night and visit temples the next morning, but should not visit a temple in the same evening,” he remarked.
Meanwhile, reacting to BJP’s attack, former MLC and Congress leader in Kodagu district Veena Acchaiah has said Siddaramaiah did not have non-vegetarian food the day he visited the temple.
“It is true there was chicken curry. But Siddaramaiah had Coorg’s special bamboo shoot curry and akki rotti,” she has said.
Jumping to his father’s defence, Siddarmaiah’s son and Congress MLA Yatindra Siddaramaiah said the BJP was creating unnecessary issues and asserted that everyone has a right over the choice of food.
State Congress Working President Dhruvanarayan said the ruling party is trying to cover up its failures by raising trivial issues, instead of concentrating on addressing the concerns of the people.
He said the BJP was trying to malign Siddaramaiah with false propaganda, as it feared his popularity.
Earlier too, Siddarmaiah as CM had been in the middle of a similar controversy in 2017, when he reportedly visited the Sri Kshetra Dharmasthala Manjunatheshwara temple in Dharmasthala of Dakshina Kannada district after consuming a meal of fish fry and country chicken.