News Brief

Controversy Erupts As Karnataka Government Allegedly Extends "State Guest" Protocol To Kerala Maulvi

Bhuvan Krishna

Jan 28, 2024, 02:59 PM | Updated 02:59 PM IST

Maulvi Sayyid Muhammed Jifri
Maulvi Sayyid Muhammed Jifri

In a move sparking controversy, the Karnataka government has allegedly accorded "State Guest" protocol to Maulvi Sayyid Muhammed Jifri from Kerala, who is scheduled to attend an Islamic religious event in Bengaluru.

Critics have accused the Congress-led government of misusing its powers for appeasement politics.

The decision has prompted strong objections, with calls for the immediate withdrawal of the State Guest honour.

Expressing disapproval, Girish Bharadwaj, a member of Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) has written a letter to the Chief Secretary of Karnataka, urging a reevaluation of the decision.

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The letter shared on social media emphasises the perceived misuse of state resources for appeasement politics and calls for a reconsideration of the "State Guest" status granted to Maulvi Sayyid Muhammed Jifri.

"By the rules outlined by the Department of Personnel and Administrative Reforms (DPAR), individuals can be designated as Guests of the State only if their visit is deemed beneficial to a particular department of the Government or the Government in general. It is evident from the available information that the aforementioned guest while representing a private Muslim body, has not made significant social or cultural contributions to the State," Bharadwaj said in the letter.

"Considering the DPAR rules, it becomes apparent that providing state guest status to individuals who do not bring tangible benefits to the State is not in line with the guidelines. The concern arises particularly when such decisions could potentially strain the state's financial resources, especially during a time of severe drought," he said.

"The above-mentioned guest has no beneficial value and he is being provided state guest status tantamount to draining the exchequer. The Government has agreed because he belongs to a minority and it would not be wiser not to accommodate him as a State Guest considering the vote bank Politics of the current dispensation," he added.

This comes after a Christian religious event in Bengaluru was cancelled following protests by Hindu activists.

The event featuring an African pastor Alph Lukau, a televangelist who promised to be here "to bring together individuals from all walks of life for a collective moment of prayerful reflection and hope for India".

Efforts were reportedly also on at that time to secure "state guest" designation for Lukau.

"Ahead of Lukau's planned visit to the city, the organisers tried reaching out to the Speaker of the Karnataka Assembly, U T Khader, to grant Lukau the designation of a 'state guest'. This recommendation that came in the form of a letter was then forwarded to the Chief Secretary's Office," Girish Bharadwaj had said earlier.

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Bhuvan Krishna is Staff Writer at Swarajya.

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