Attacked by the BJP for allegedly going to a temple after recently eating non-vegetarian food, thereby harming religious feelings, senior congressional leader Siddaramaiah clarified on Tuesday that he was not eating meat that day.
The former Chief Minister also called it a “non-issue” and sought to assert the right to food choice.
Siddaramaiah enters Basaveshwara Temple in Kodlipet during his recent visit to Kodagu on Aug. 18, after allegedly non-vegetarian food has sparked controversy.
“Is eating meat a problem? (What one eats) is a personal eating habit. I eat both meat and vegetarian food, it’s my habit. Some don’t eat meat, it’s their eating habit,” Siddaramaiah said in response to a question .
Speaking to reporters here, he said the BJP “has no other job”, and so he is trying to create controversy to divert public attention from “main issues”.
“I don’t think it’s a problem at all. Many go without eating meat and many go after eating. In many places, meat is offered to gods. Frankly, I hadn’t eaten meat that day. I said what I did after that for the sake of the argument. Although there was chicken curry, I only ate bamboo shoot curry and ‘akki rotti,'” he added.
Siddaramaiah, the leader of the opposition in the state assembly, had said in defense on Sunday that he is non-vegetarian and that it is his diet, and wondered if God has told him what to eat and what not to eat before visiting a temple.
The Congress party leader’s alleged act of visiting a temple after eating meat and his subsequent remarks had provoked sharp reactions from the ruling BJP leaders, with senior MLA Basangouda Patil Yatnal even challenging: “If you , Siddaramaiah, have guts, eat pork and visit a mosque.”
Siddaramaiah responded to this challenge and attacks, saying, “I only eat chicken and mutton, no other meat (pork or beef). But I’m not against those who eat it, because it’s their eating habit.” Siddaramaiah responded to BJP chief Nalin Kumar Kateel’s statement accusing him of “staged a drama” of temple visits and math with the election approaching. He said he visits temples and believes in the oneness of God.
“I go to temples, but I have not made it my profession. I go to temples in my village…why should I go to seek God in Kashmir or elsewhere? I am often in Tirupati, Mahadeshwara hills, Chamundi hills Nanjanagu Temple. I go everywhere,” he said.
(This story was not edited by DailyExpertNews staff and was generated automatically from a syndicated feed.)