Karnataka polls not about water or road, but Hindus and Muslims: BJP MLA

Bengaluru: A Karnataka BJP lawmaker and candidate in next month’s state elections has said the polls are “not about roads and drinking water but Hindu and Muslim religions”.
Sanjay Patil, the Belagavi (Rural) MLA, is seen making the remarks in a video shot in his constituency amid loud cheers by a crowd of his supporters. It was not immediately known when the video was shot.
News agency ANI reported that an FIR was registered against Patil on the charges of delivering a provocative speech in Belagavi.
“…This election is not about road, drainage or drinking water. This election is about Hindu and Muslim religions,” Patil told the crowd.
“Keeping a hand on my chest I say loudly, this is Bharat, this is the country of Hindus, and this is the country where (Lord) Ram was born. We are prepared to do anything to construct Ram mandir in Ayodhya,” Patil is heard saying in the video.
Belagavi (Belgaum) on the Karnataka-Maharashtra border is a communally sensitive area with significant presence of Muslims and Marathi speaking Hindus.
Karnataka votes on May 12 and counting will be held three days later.
Patil also told the crowd that the Congress favored constructing a mosque in Ayodhya instead of a Ram temple.
“Let Laxmi Hebbalkar speak about constructing Ram mandir, you all vote for her, but she can’t say it, as she is among those who will construct a masjid, Babri masjid,” he said.
Hebbalkar, the Karnataka Mahila Congress chief, is pitted against Patil from the Belagavi (Rural) constituency.
“(Those) Who want to construct Babri Masjid… who want to celebrate Tipu Sultan’s jayanti…let them vote for Congress…If you want Shivaji Maharaj, if you want Sambhaji Maharaj, if you want those who offer pooja at Lakshmi temple, you will have to vote for BJP,” Patil said.

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