'Muslims Must Join Hands With BJP if Need Arises', Says Karnataka Congress Leader Roshan Baig After Exit Polls

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The report, titled 'Report on International Religious Freedom', was released on June 25, ahead of US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's much-awaited visit to India. The Ministry of External Affairs has categorically rejected its views on the alleged dwindling of religious freedom in India.

New Delhi, May 21: After exit polls predicted a rout for the Opposition in most states, a Karnataka Congress leader issued a shocking appeal to the Muslim community. Addressing a gathering in Bengaluru, Roshan Baig said the minorities must compromise with the situation and "join hands" with the BJP is need arises. 'Aayega To Modi Hi', Say Predictions; NDA Projected To Win More Than 300 Seats.

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"Well if NDA is coming back to power, I humbly appeal to Muslim brothers to learn to compromise with the situation," he said. Asked if that means Muslims should join hands with BJP, Baig said if need arises, they must as the Congress had given just one ticket to a Muslim leader in Karnataka.

"If needs be, (Muslims) must join hands. We must not remain loyal to one party. What happened to Muslims in Karnataka? The Congress gave just one seat," he blurted.

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Asked if he will take a decision to quit Congress in coming days, Baig said if needs be, he would do it.

"If needs be, I will do it because we (Muslims) cannot remain in a party with disgrace. We live our lives with grace and dignity. Where we will not get respect, we will not want to remain there. If someone makes us sit with love and affection, we will sit with them," he said.

Asked whom would he blame for the present condition of the Muslims in Karnataka, Baig pointed fingers at KPCC President Dinesh Gundu Rao for conducting "flop poll campaign" and also attacked CLP leaders including Siddaramaiah for the same.

"I hold Dinesh Gundu Rao for conducting a flop poll campaign. Moreover, CLP leaders who were flying high in the sky should come to terms with ground realities," he added.

Baig said he was not surprised by exit poll numbers as from the very beginning he knew Congress would not get good numbers because of the "flop poll campaigning" of the party.

(With PTI inputs)