‘Will close madrasas’: Karnataka BJP MLA stokes controversy ahead of polls

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Former Union Minister and BJP MLA Basanagouda Patil on Friday said that his party will shout down all the Madrasas in Karnataka if it returns to power, news agency ANI reported.

The current Vijayapura MLA said it will be done on the lines of Assam under CM Himanta Biswa Sarma. Earlier on Thursday, Sarma, who is visiting Karnataka, said he intended to shut all the madrasas (Muslim religious schools) in his state, as they were not needed in “New India”. “What Assam needed were schools, colleges and universities to produce doctors, engineers and other professionals to serve the state and the country, and not madrasas,” Sarma said while addressing an event here on Thursday night.

Addressing a crowd at Belgavi’s Shivaji Maharaj Garden in the upcoming election-bound state of Karnataka, Sarma said, “I come from Assam, where everyday people arrive from Bangladesh. There is a threat to our culture and traditions,” the Chief Minister said.

“Recently in a TV interview in Delhi, I was asked what my intention was in having shut down 600 madrasas. I said that I have shut 600, but my intention is to shut all madrasas,” he added.

Going on a tirade against opposition parties, Sarma accused the Congress and Communists of having distorted history and misrepresented facts. He also labelled the Congress “new Mughals”.

“There is no need of madrasas in this ‘New India’,” he asserted, adding, “We have to move forward in this direction, we have to transform our education system; time has come to rewrite our history in a new way as it was distorted earlier.”

The Assam Chief Minister was addressing a large gathering here after inaugurating a light and sound show on Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj.

Noting that Abhay Patil, a local BJP MLA, had planned the light and sound show six years ago, Sarma again made accusations against the Congress. “The Congress government then did not extend any help. Why will Congress help,” he asked, adding, “Congress will never help. Congress will think about Babar, but not Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj.”

“With this light and sound show, he (MLA) has ensured that the ideals of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj will be followed in this country and that in the future too Sanatana (dharma) will be followed, and that Sanatana ideals will become stronger in this country,” he said.

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