Karnataka Election: At the Centre of Hijab Ban, Minister BC Nagesh Loses Seat

From a ban on hijab to controversial revisions of textbooks, Nagesh was in the limelight for all the wrong reasons.

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Karnataka education minister and senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader BC Nagesh was defeated by the Congress' K Shadakshari, from the Tiptur constituency, by a margin of 17,652 votes during the 2023 Karnataka Assembly election on Saturday, 13 May.

At the centre of the hijab ban in educational institutions controversy, his loss also comes on the heels of supporting a controversial revision of school textbooks.

BJP candidate Nagesh won in 2008 and 2018 from this constituency while Congress' Shadakshari won and became MLA from this constituency in 2013. Nagesh was inducted as minister in 2021 after Basavaraj Bommai took charge as chief minister.

Nagesh had won during the 2018 Assembly election from the Tiptur constituency by a margin of 25,563 votes, while the Congress' Shadakshari won by a margin of 11, 563 votes and became an MLA from the seat in 2013.

During the 2023 polls, the Tiptur seat saw 1,54,676 electors cast their vote.


Marred by Controversies

After the Supreme Court delivered a split verdict on the Karnataka High Court’s order disallowing Muslim girls from wearing hijab to government colleges, Nagesh continued to stress that the order will remain valid and was at the forefront of the fight against hijabs in government institutions.

The leader had earlier courted controversy when he had said that religious texts such as the Bible and the Quran cannot be compared with the Bhagavad Gita.

In 2021, Nagesh was inducted into Basavaraj Bommai's ministry and was made the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education.

As the results were declared, Congress is set for a comfortable win in the southern state which will also mark BJP’s exit from the southern part of India. The Congress has been winning or leading in 137 out of 224 assembly seats way above the magic number of 113.

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