The ruling BJP and the opposition Congress are in confrontation mode over the issue of entering a temple after eating non-vegetarian food. The controversy erupted after some Congress members alleged that BJP MLA and national general secretary C.T. Ravi entered a temple after having non-vegetarian food in Uttara Kannada district.
The BJP faced severe embarrassment over the issue as it had made the issue of then CM Siddaramaiah entering a temple after having non-vegetarian food. It was projected as a disrespectful move by Siddaramaiah.
The saffron party had also alleged in 2018 that Siddaramaiah and the Congress don't respect Hindu traditions.
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The allegations have come to haunt the BJP ahead of the assembly polls and questions were raised over the move of C.T. Ravi, who is known as a fierce proponent of Hindutva. The BJP and C.T. Ravi are trying to issue clarifications over the issue and downplay it.
The Congress is using the issue for carrying out a campaign on social media and slamming the double standards of BJP leaders. The party has questioned how the Hindu activists and religious seers who came out in the open to criticize Siddaramaiah then, have turned a blind eye towards the present development.
The controversy erupted after Ravi allegedly entered temples after having non-vegetarian food. The photos of Ravi eating non-veg food at the residence of local BJP MLA Sunil Naik in Uttara Kannada district have gone viral on social media. He had come to Karwar to participate in Shivaji Jayanthi.
It is alleged that C.T. Ravi had visited Nag Ban in Bhatkal city and Karibanta Hanuman temple. Bhatkal MLA Sunil Naik and committee members of the temples accompanied Ravi.
People have questioned Ravi for flouting the sanctity of temples by visiting them after eating non-vegetarian food.
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Karnataka BJP president Nalin Kumar Kateel stated that C.T. Ravi had agreed that he had eaten non-vegetarian food. But, he had not entered the temple. He had folded his hands standing outside the temple. He is not like Siddaramaiah who ate non vegetarian food and went straight to Hindu pilgrimage centre Dharmastahala. This is the difference between Siddaramaiah and C.T. Ravi, he said.
Reacting strongly to the incident, Ravi had stated that he was born in a community which consumes non-vegetarian food. "I eat non-veg food. But, I will never step into a temple after having non-vegetarian food," he said.
He added that he had gone to visit the temple premises to inspect the place as Muslim did not allow the temple authorities to undertake construction work.
Ravi also stated that he has been brought up in a traditional Hindu family. "Unlike Siddaramaiah, I won't dare to say that I will enter a temple after eating non-vegetarian food. I am not going to be the victim of the toolkit politics of Congress," he maintained.
Opposition leader Siddaramaiah stated that eating vegetarian, non-vegetarian food and going to temples is not an issue for discussion at all. He said the BJP leaders do not have clarity on issues.
As the elections are nearing the Karnataka BJP is in a fix over the issue. The party is facing stiff competition in the coastal region from Sri Rama Sena, where the BJP wins most of the seats with its Hindutva agenda.