Bangalore: Claiming it was the BJP government which has provided maximum allocation for minorities' welfare, Chief Minister D V Sadananda Gowda on Sunday announced a grant of Rs 40 crore for the proposed Haj building here.

Speaking after the ground breaking ceremony, he said the BJP government had provided maximum allocation of Rs 360 crore in the current fiscal to minorities, while the figure was just Rs 50 crore until the saffron party came to power in 2008.

Of 60 to 70 lakh Muslim population in Karnataka, about 50,000 go on Haj pilgrimage every year and the Haj Building had been a long standing demand of the pilgrims, he said.

"Today I want to tell my Muslim brethren that the BJP government does not believe in just helping religious mutts or temples. After coming to power it has sanctioned Rs 150 crore, Rs 250 crore and now Rs 360 crore in the last three years crore for minority welfare. I want to see a Haj Bhavan in the city which is among the best in the country," he said.

Gowda said the government had already released Rs 15 crore for the building.

Meanwhile, Gowda took serious objection to JD(S) legislator Zameer Ahmed reportedly throwing a table in protest against 'ignoring' former union minister and veteran Congress leader Jaffer Sharief, whose name was mentioned last in the welcome address by Syed Zameer Pasha, Secretary Minorities Welfare, Social Welfare Department.

Ahmed is also a member of the Karnataka Haj Committee.

"I feel sorry for this incident. Ahmed was in my residence this morning for talks, but I did not expect him to lose his temper so fast. I am the Chief Minister of 6.5 crore people of Karnataka and also a humble man. Anyone from Muslim community can come and meet me any time. But such angry outburst is undesirable", he said.

(Agencies)