Joining the bandwagon of other BJP ministers known for their communal diatribe is Karnataka CM Yeddyurappa’s political secretary and MLA Renukacharya. After saying that Muslims collect weapons in mosques instead of praying and saying that he would put Muslims in their place, he has now warned the Muslim community that no development work will be taken up in their area if they don’t vote for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

Stating that he would turn his Assembly seat Honnali into a fully “saffronised” constituency, at a pro-CAA rally he said, “I warn the Muslims. No development related activities will be taken up in their areas. They are not patriots. They don’t vote for the BJP. They did not vote for me in the 2018 Assembly elections. I will not seek their vote in the next election.”

Lashing out at the Opposition leaders for demanding a ban on the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) he said, “RSS is a patriotic organization. If anyone questions that, I won’t keep quiet. We will teach them a lesson.”

Speaking to reporters on Wednesday he said, “In our institutions, nothing anti-national is taught. We only teach values that are mandated for life. But in madarsas, youth are manipulated and taught terrorism. Why do we need such schools? The majority of those accused of terror are Muslims.”

Following up with a statement saying that what he meant did not imply that all Muslims were terrorists, he said, “They come to us seeking our help. They want the BJP for development, but when it comes to elections, they vote for Congress and JD(S),” adding that no “special packages” would be distributed to Muslims in his constituency.

Renukacharya had made a similar comment about development work back in 2018 too saying that it was the Hindus who had ensured his win and that he would work only to develop their community. Back then he had also asked corporators to not allow women clad in burqas, bearded men and those wearing caps – all a stereotypical portrayal of Muslims – near their office.

Our take: It seems like BJP leaders have made it their strategy to tackle their failure to deliver on the promise of development with hate. This is why they have started a hate campaign against protesters who are against the CAA and NRC. From Yogi Adityanath to the Vijayvargiyas, from Kapil Mishra to CT Ravi, from Parvesh Sahib Singh Varma to Dilip Ghosh; BJP leaders across the length and breadth of the country have engaged in hate speech and made comments to incite communal hatred and have openly threatened the minorities. How can they guarantee then that the CAA and NRC won’t be a threat to the future of the minorities in the country if they are using such fear tactics to get them to conform in the first place?

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