After being criticized by the Bharatiya Janata Party for visiting a temple after eating non-vegetarian food, opposition leader Siddaramaiah on Tuesday denied the accusations.
The former chief minister said the BJP was trying to stoke the alleged controversy over meat eating which was not an “issue” and distract from other important issues.
“Is (eating meat) a problem? In society, eating meat or not is a personal matter. It’s a food habit. I eat meat and vegetarian food…it’s my habit. Some don’t eat (meat), it’s their habit,” Siddaramaiah said.
He added that eating or not eating meat was “irrelevant at all” and an issue that had no positive or negative impact on society.
The statements come nearly a week after Siddaramaiah visited Kodagu district, some 225 km from Bengaluru, where protesters threw eggs at his convoy and held up posters of Hindutva ideologue Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, who has since snowballed into a wider controversy between the two main national parties in the state ahead of the 2023 parliamentary elections.
“I don’t think it’s a problem at all. Many go (to temples) without eating meat and many go there after eating. In many places meat is offered to the deities. To tell you the truth, I hadn’t eaten any meat that day. I said what I have next for the sake of argument. Although there was chicken curry, I only ate bamboo shoot curry and ‘akki rotti’ (rotted rice),” he told PTI.
The BJP had previously said that Siddaramaiah entered the Basaveshwara temple at Kodlipet in Kodagu on August 18 after eating meat, which they said hurt religious feelings.
Meanwhile, Bijapur (Vijayapura) city BJP lawmaker Basanagouda Patil (Yatnal) challenged Siddaramaiah on Tuesday to eat pork and then enter a mosque. “If you, Siddaramaiah, have the courage, eat pork and visit a mosque.” said Yatnal.
BJP MP Mysuru-Kodagu Prathap Simha posed the same question to Siddaramaiah.
“You eat pork and go to the mosque? asked MP @mepratap. I never ate pork in my life, I don’t want to eat pork. As far as I know there are no such restrictions in the mosque. If necessary, let Prathap Simha eat pork and go,” Siddaramaiah replied via tweet.
Siddaramaiah also said he only eats chicken and mutton and no other meats, but added that he was not against anyone eating other meats as it was his personal choice and habits. food.