The Karnataka wing of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has accused the Siddaramaiah-led Congress government of minority appeasement in the SSLC and Pre-University exam timings.
The Karnataka State Secondary Education Board (KSEEB) recently announced the dates for SSLC and Pre-University examinations. In the timetable, on one Friday, the SSLC examination timing is shifted to the afternoon while all other exams are scheduled in the morning.
Karnataka BJP spokesperson Hariprakash Konemane took to social media, accusing the government of trying to appease the Muslim community.
“Muslim appeasement even in state-level SSLC pre-prep exam schedule. It is regrettable that, for the first time, as directed by the Congress government, the state education department has decided to conduct the examination on Friday afternoon instead of the scheduled time for all other days to facilitate morning prayers. This policy of direct Muslim appeasement needs to be openly condemned in the education sector as well,” said Konemane on X, triggering a political slugfest.
However, the Congress on Monday maintained that the decision has been made to streamline the examination process. “With the commencement of the PUC exam on March 1, the SSLC exam is scheduled for the afternoon of the same day. To avoid confusion and ensure ample examination centres, the SSLC exam will be conducted on Saturday, as there are no PUC exams scheduled for that day,” Congress clarified.
According to the education department, the decision has been made to streamline the examination process. However, allegations have arisen, particularly from the BJP, claiming that the SSLC exam timings on Friday afternoon was arranged to accommodate namaz.
“It has been emphasised that this decision aims to address logistical concerns and is not related to any religious consideration,” Congress’s social media clarification said.
The Congress party also directly countered Konemane, stating, “He has been singled out for his role in spreading what is perceived as false propaganda. Questions have been raised about his background as a former journalist and his current role within the party. This controversy has led to discussions about the responsibility of media organisations, particularly the one he once headed, in disseminating accurate information. The debate extends to the authenticity of his claim of being a former journalist.”
Responding to the Congress’s counter-attack, Konemane said, the issue was raised by the general public, and he brought it to the forefront.
“D K Shivakumar had openly said their government is for the Muslim community. The Congress government’s stance on the Muslim community is questionable. The whole controversy started due to the change in the examination schedule. They would have either scheduled the exam for another date or stuck to the morning schedule. Or at least there should be a footnote in the schedule giving clarification on why there is a change in the schedule only on Friday. It’s a question raised by the general public. Let them (Congress) answer the public and not me,” Konemane said.
Pre-prep examinations for SSLC are scheduled from February 26 and will conclude on March 2 while the PUC examinations are scheduled from March 1 to March 13.