Minister who banned hijab tastes humiliating defeat in Karnataka polls

Bangalore: Karnataka Education Minister BC Nagesh, who had banned the hijab, lost the election. 

Karnataka Education Minister and BJP leader BC Nagesh, who had imposed a hijab ban in educational institutions in Karnataka and called for an economic boycott of Muslims in the state, has lost the election from his constituencn  Tiptur constituency of Tumkur district.

Nagesh was the face of the government in the constituency as he took a tough stand against girls wearing hijab in classrooms.

He was one of the driving forces in the saffronization of textbooks but had to back down due to intense pressure from the opposition, Kannada groups and civil societies.

Congress candidate Shadakshari won by a margin of 17652 votes. She got 71999 votes while Nagesh got only 54347 votes.

He was earlier elected Tiptur MLA in 2008 and 2018 while Shadakshari won from the same constituency in 2013.

The BJP government appointed Nagesh as the state’s education minister in 2021 when Biswaraj Bomai took over as the Karnataka chief minister.

As education minister, Nagesh played a key role in enforcing the ban on Muslim students wearing hijab in government pre-university colleges in Karnataka. Apart from this, he also strongly rejected requests to allow hijab, at least during examinations.

It may be noted that the hijab issue reached its peak in December 2021 when six female students of the government PU college in Udupi were banned from attending class wearing the hijab.

Due to the strict enforcement of the hijab ban, many female students were forced to abandon their studies while many families decided to move to other towns.

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