"Not Done Yet": Siddaramaiah's Clarification After Big Hijab Statement

The Karnataka government has not given any order to end the ban on wearing the hijab in educational institutions, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said on Saturday, a day after media reports claimed the hijab ban has been removed.

"Not Done Yet": Siddaramaiah's Clarification After Big Hijab Statement

The Karnataka government has not given any order to end the ban on wearing the hijab in educational institutions, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said on Saturday, a day after media reports claimed the hijab ban has been removed.

The ban by the previous BJP government on wearing the hijab had triggered protests.

At an event in Mysuru yesterday, Siddaramaiah had said women can wear the hijab if they want. The comment led to speculation that the Chief Minister had ordered to scrap the ban.

However, Siddaramaiah told reporters today the Karnataka government has not formally issued any order to allow wearing the hijab in educational institutions.

"We have not done it yet (allowing hijab). One person asked me a question, and I replied to that. Yes, the government is considering to end the ban. But the matter will be discussed with government officers first," Siddaramaiah told reporters today.

The plan to end the hijab ban was already on the Congress's agenda before the election in May this year, when the party defeated the BJP under former Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai.

While Siddaramaiah has attacked the BJP over allegedly dividing people based on what they wear and caste, the BJP has called the Congress's policy "appeasement politics".

In the hijab case, the Supreme Court had delivered a split verdict on whether the government has the authority to make rules on what to wear. The court had said it would consider setting up a three-judge bench to take the matter forward.

"When the matter is pending in the Supreme Court, the Chief Minister does not even take that into consideration and decides to please the minorities, while eyeing the Lok Sabha election," Mr Bommai said.

The Hijab row began in December 2021 when six girls in Udupi's Government PU College were denied permission to wear the scarf in classrooms. It has now become another political issue ahead of the 2024 general election.