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2-min read

#SelfieWithTilak Trends after Siddaramaiah Says He Fears People Wearing Long Tikas

The statement was received with severe criticism especially by Twitter users who accused the Congress leader of trying to polarize voters. The video of the video also went viral.

Stacy Pereira | CNN-News18

Updated:March 6, 2019, 8:02 PM IST
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#SelfieWithTilak Trends after Siddaramaiah Says He Fears People Wearing Long Tikas
Siddaramaiah seen with a tilak on his forehead in this file photo.
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Bengaluru: Former Karnataka chief minister and senior Congress leader Siddaramaiah courted controversy on Wednesday after he said he was scared of people who put ‘tilak’.

While instructing a tahsildar in his home constituency of Badami, Siddaramaiah was heard asking local officials about the contractor of the Agasthya lake rejuvenation project.

When the officials pointed out the contractor among the crowd, Siddaramaiah asked him to complete the work on time.

The contractor was wearing a tilak, which the former CM noticed and said, “I am scared of people who put long tikas with kumkum or ash.”

The statement was received with severe criticism especially by Twitter users who accused the Congress leader of trying to polarize voters. The video of the video also went viral.

Soon, Siddaramaiah came in the line of fire from right-wing groups, whose members are usually seen with tilaks.

The former chief minister was accused of singling out persons who wear vermillion on their forehead.

Soon after, the opposition BJP posted pictures of Siddaramaiah sporting a tika himself.

Several social media users also put up pictures of Congress national president Rahul Gandhi and UPA chief Sonia Gandhi wearing tilaks.

BJP MLA CT Ravi, who too posted the former chief minister’s pictures with tikas asked the latter why does he hate Hindus so much?

BJP spokesperson Tajinder Singh Bagga, as a mark of protest, put out a picture of himself with a tilak and asked others to do so the same, making the hashtag #selfiewithtilak trend moments after the Siddaramaiah video went viral.

Later in the day, Siddaramaiah wrote on Twitter, “Tilaka & Saffron are essential part of Hindu culture and has sanctity to it. But since when @BJP4India tried to appropriate & abuse these symbols for their political gains, people have started fearing & doubting those who use these symbols.”

In a veiled dig at Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath, Siddaramaiah further wrote, “There is a chief minister from @BJP4India who wears saffron & applies Tilak but has lot of criminal cases against him. Will people respect him or feel scared of him?”

| Edited by: Debdeep Mukherjee
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