Omar Abdullah asks Congress leadership to ensure hijab ban in Karnataka is lifted
The Congress had during its poll campaign in the state promised that the ban on hijab will be lifted by it if returned to power
Srinagar: Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister and opposition National Conference (NC) leader Omar Abdullah on Tuesday asked the Congress party leadership to ensure the official ban on the women students wearing hijab in educational institutions in Karnataka is lifted completely at the earliest.
The ban was imposed by the BJP government in February 2022 and it remains in force in Karnataka even after the saffron party was ousted from power by the Congress in the state assembly elections in May this year. The Congress had during its poll campaign in the state promised that the ban on hijab will be lifted by it if returned to power.
However, the state’s newly appointed School Education Minister, Madhu Bangarappa, had in June stated that the Congress government cannot immediately change the government order. Though the ban order upheld by the Karnataka high court remains in force, the state government last month allowed students to wear hijab during competitive exams.
Mr. Abdullah while appealing to the Congress leaders Mallikarjun Kharge, Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi to work on revoking the ban on hijab completely asked, “Why should the government interfere in the choice of using head cover by females in the first place?” He alleged that such orders are passed to target Muslims and said, “When all this used to happen in Karnataka earlier, it would not surprise us because there was the BJP government at that time”.
He regretted that even after the Congress being at the helm of affairs for the past about six months the hijab ban order remains in force in Karnataka. “It is very unfortunate,” he said while talking to reporters in north-western town of Baramulla.
He added, “I request Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge and senior leaders Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi to reconsider the order that has been issued in Karnataka and work on revoking it.”