Ban On Muslim Traders: ‘Will You Ban Wipro?’ Asks Cong MLA

HUBBALLI: Congress MLA from Chitapur Priyank Kharge has asked the BJP government in Karnataka if it will ban Wipro, the third-largest software company in India.

Kharge, a former minister in the state government, posed this question at a press conference in Bengaluru on March 26, 2022, in the wake of the ongoing calls for banning Muslim vendors from Hindu temple premises.

Kharge mentioned Wipro because the software company is run by Azim Premji, a Shia Khoja Muslim from Gujarat settled in Bengaluru.

Western India Palm Refined Oil, or Wipro, was founded in 1945 by Mohammed Premji, the father of Azim Premji.

In 1966, upon his father’s death, Azim Premji took over the reins of the company and later ventured into software consulting. Wipro is one of the most reputable names in the Indian software industry and employs more than two lakh people.

Azim Premji was once India’s richest person and is known for philanthropy.

According to a media report, this is what Kharge asked: “Can we say India won’t trade with Islamic nations? Going by the things [BJP] is doing, half of Karnataka’s investments needs to go. Who runs Wipro? Lakhs of people work there. Isn’t it a nation-building organisation? They could have gone to Pakistan, but they stayed back.”

Kharge also claimed India’s trade with Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Malaysia, Qatar, Kuwait, Turkey, Bangladesh and Jordan runs into billions of dollars.

“Then, what is their problem? Let the BJP take a stand that they will neither import from or export to Islamic nations,” he said. “But here, Muslim traders are being banned. Does poverty know caste or religion?”

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