BJP chief Amit Shah on Thursday hit out at the Siddaramaih-led Congress government in Karnataka over Tipu Jayanti celebration saying the state government was enthusiastic about Tipu Jayanti, not Karnataka Mahotsav. Addressing the BJP state unit’s ‘Nava Karnataka Nirmana Parivarthana Yatra’ rally in Bengaluru, the BJP chief was quoted by ANI as saying: “Karnataka Mahotsav was supposed to be grand, but the state government wasn’t enthusiastic about it, they are enthusiastic about Tipu Jayanti.”
He also slammed the state government for engaging in vote bank politics over the event: “Celebrating Tipu Jayanti and doing vote bank politics will not benefit people of Karnataka. Siddaramaiah Ji, under your govt over 10 BJP-RSS workers have been killed, do you have an answer for it?” Also Read: ‘Fanatic’ or ‘freedom fighter’: The renewed debate on Tipu Sultan
The BJP chief also launched a scathing attack at the Congress government in Karnataka, accusing it of having broken “all records” in corruption. Shah claimed a survey had found that the state government was the “most corrupt” in the country. He also described state BJP chief B S Yeddyurappa as the prospective chief minister of the state and claimed that the ‘yatra’ would lead to the ouster of the Siddaramaiah government. He made another allegation that the funds released by the Centre to the state were not reaching the people.
Mocking at the yatra, Siddaramaiah tweeted, “It is good that @BJP4Karnataka is going on #ParivartanaYatre. Their way of doing penance for the sins of their past.”
Shah’s remarks come amid a raging debate between the state government and the opposition BJP over Tipu Sultan. The BJP has threatened major protests if the government moves ahead with its plans to celebrate the former Mysore ruler’s birth anniversary on November 10. But while the BJP is up in arms against the state government’s plans, President Ram Nath Kovind had hailed the 18th century ruler of Mysore as a ‘formidable soldier’ from Karnataka who ‘died a heroic death’. In a statement at the Karnataka legislature to mark the diamond jubilee celebrations of the Vidhan Soudha, President Kovind had said: “Tipu Sultan died a heroic death fighting the British. He was also a pioneer in the development and use of Mysore rockets in warfare. This technology was later adopted by the Europeans.” Also Read: Tipu Sultan among ‘formidable soldiers’ from Karnataka, died a historic death fighting British: President Ram Nath Kovind
Earlier in October this year, Anantkumar Hegde, Minister of State for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship in the Narendra Modi-government at the Centre, asked the state government not to include his name in the programme invitations for Tipu Jayanti celebrations. “Tipu was anti-Kannada and anti-Hindu, and history says this. The celebration of Tipu Jayanti last year resulted in law and order problems in the state. The decision of the government to celebrate the birth anniversary of a divisive leader is condemned by the minister,’’ said the letter sent by his office to Chief Minister Siddaramaiah. “(I have) conveyed (to) Karnataka government not to invite me to shameful event of glorifying a person known as brutal killer, wretched fanatic and mass rapist,” Hegde had tweeted.
(With PTI inputs)