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BJP red flags Tipu Sultan portrait in House, AAP says suggest freedom fighter from RSS

Officials said each portrait is representative of one assembly constituency. But the inclusion of Tipu Sultan has been labelled “controversial” by Delhi BJP MLAs.

Written by Aniruddha Ghosal | New Delhi |
Updated: January 27, 2018 6:46:39 am
BJP, tipu sultan, aam aadmi party, arvind kejriwal, delhi assembly, delhi chief minister, tipu sultan portrait, indian express Kejriwal looks on as Rahul Gandhi greets Prime Minister Modi at Rashtrapati Bhavan. (Express photo by Renuka Puri)

At the Delhi Assembly on Friday, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal unveiled portraits of 70 individuals from the country’s past who were key to nation-building and the struggle for Independence. However, one portrait in particular — that of Tipu Sultan — has become a point of contention.

Other portraits include those of freedom fighters Ashfaqulla Khan and Bhagat Singh, Birsa Munda, Rani Chennamma and Subhas Chandra Bose. Officials said each portrait is representative of one assembly constituency.
But the inclusion of Tipu Sultan has been labelled “controversial” by Delhi BJP MLAs.

Manjinder Singh Sirsa, BJP-SAD MLA from Rajouri Garden, told The Indian Express, “I asked them (AAP), why include someone who is this controversial? Why not include people who are from Delhi? Why put someone’s portrait in the Delhi Assembly, who has not contributed in any way to Delhi or its history?”

AAP, however, said they had asked the BJP to suggest names from their party or the RSS. “We asked the BJP and their MLAs to suggest names from either their party or the RSS who had worked for the freedom struggle. But they couldn’t come up with any,” claimed AAP MLA and spokesperson Saurabh Bhardwaj.

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Stating that BJP leaders always try to create a controversy, Speaker Ram Niwas Goel said: “Now, they are opposing inclusion of Tipu Sultan’s portrait in the gallery. I want to tell them that the Constitution also carries a picture of Tipu Sultan on page 144. So either the people who fought the British to free the country and wrote this Constitution were gaddar (traitors) or they (the BJP) are one… They should leave this cheap politics and do politics of development.”

Addressing the gathering during the unveiling, Kejriwal said an atmosphere of violence is being created everywhere, making it tough for people to lead a normal life. “Opening more schools and hospitals to provide better education and healthcare facilities, bridging the gap between the rich and the poor, developing infrastructure is real patriotism,” he said.

According to officials, work on the portraits began six months ago. They have been painted by artist Guru Darshan Singh Binkal, who is a part of Shaheed Smriti Chetna Samiti, an organisation working to spread awareness on freedom fighters. Others in the gallery are Udham Singh, who assassinated Michael O’Dwyer in 1940 and and 18th century tribal revolutionary Tilka Manjhi.

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First published on: 27-01-2018 at 03:05:36 am

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