BHOPAL: Alleging that madrasas nurture fundamentalism and terrorism, Madhya Pradesh Minister of State for Tourism and Culture Usha Thakur on Tuesday said that government funding to them should be stopped in the country. Also Read - Madhya Pradesh Govt In Process of Bringing Love Jihad Law: CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan

Speaking at a press conference, Thakur said, “All the fundamentalists and terrorists of the country have grown up in madrasas. Children are children and students are students. So I believe students of all religions should be collectively given the same education.” Also Read - Love Jihad Will Not Be Allowed In Madhya Pradesh At Any Cost, Says CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan | WATCH

“Religion-based education is increasing fanaticism and spreading hatred,” she added. Also Read - Labrador to Undergo DNA Test to Settle Ownership Dispute in Madhya Pradesh's Hoshangabad

“What culture are they (madrasas) teaching? If you are a citizen of this country, then you see all fundamentalists and terrorists have grown in madrasas. Jammu and Kashmir was made a factory of terrorists,” she further said.

Thakur said madrasas need to be linked to a “proper education system” to connect students to “nationalism and mainstream society”.

Those who want religious education can obtain it at their own expense, as the Constitution gives them this right, the minister said.

“However, government”s financial assistance to madrasas must stop. The Wakf Board is economically the strongest organisation in the world and it would take care of funding for madrasas,” she said.

The minister’s statements assume significance as they came just a few days after the BJP government in Assam reportedly announced the shutdown of government run madrasas and Sanskrit schools.

The Congress said the ruling BJP was trying to communalise the campaign for November 3 byelections in the state with such statements.

State Congress spokesperson Narendra Saluja said the Election Commission should take note of her statements.

“The BJP is trying to divert the bypoll campaign towards a communal agenda and Thakur’s statements are part of this strategy,” he alleged.

The minister, who represents Mhow seat of Indore district as a BJP MLA, has been in the news in the past also for making controversial statements.

Recently, she courted controversy by terming the tribal outfit Jai Adivasi Yuva Shakti (JAYS) as anti-national.

JAYS has strong influence among young tribals, particularly in West MP districts neighbouring Indore, and its founder member Dr Hiralal Alawa is a Congress MLA from Manawar (Dhar).

A few years ago, she had demanded a ban on Muslim youths entering Navratri Garba venues. In May 2019, she had termed Mahatma Gandhi’s assassin Nathuram Godse a nationalist.