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Tussle over statues flares up in Karnataka as Assembly polls get closer

Tussle over statues flares up in Karnataka as Assembly polls get closer

Bengaluru: As the Assembly elections in the state is commencing soon, the tussle between statues is getting heated up in Karnataka.

The issue started with the BJP-led state government installing a 108-feet statue of the architect of Bengaluru Nadaprabhu Kempe Gowda. The opposition took objection as they accused the move by the ruling side is to make inroads into the Vokkaliga vote bank, which is crucial in southern parts of the state.

Congress state president D.K. Shivakumar, who is from the Vokkaliga community, downplayed the development and accused the ruling BJP of resorting to cheap politics to win elections.

Former Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy took a swipe at the BJP, saying that installing the statue of Kempe Gowda will not get the BJP the votes of the Vokkaligas. The party said that by not inviting former Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda to the inauguration ceremony the BJP insulted the veteran politician.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveiled the statue amid criticisms from the opposition of building it with the public money at a time when the people of the state are facing a crisis.

Meanwhile, Tanveer Sait, Congress MLA from Narasimharaja constituency in Mysuru, stirred another controversy by announcing the erecting of a 100 feet tall statue of the city's former ruler Tipu Sultan.

He slammed the BJP and Hindu outfits for attempts to malign 18th century ruler Tipu Sultan for political gains.

The issue which has taken a communal turn after a Hindu activist Raghu had made a video and urged Sait to apologize for issuing the statement about the installation of Tipu's statue.

"If the statement is not withdrawn, the place is ready for your burial," he stated.

At a time when the war of words over the statue of Tipu Sultan seemed to be dying down, a fresh row erupted over installing Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj's statue in the communally sensitive Mangaluru city in Dakshina Kannada district.

Congress members in Mangaluru City Corporation raised objections to the proposal mooted by the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maratha Association. Congress leader in the corporation Naveen D'Souza slammed the BJP at a time when Maharashtra and political outfit MES are trying to rake up the border issue with Karnataka.

Instead, the Congress is claiming that Mahaveer Circle, where the statue is proposed to be put up, has a shrine dedicated to Tulunadu's twin warriors Koti-Chennaya-Sri Brahma Baidarkala Garadi Kshetra.

The party is demanding the installation of a statue of Koti-Chennaya, a local hero. The issue has become a subject of discussion in the state, which will be crucial to the upcoming polls in the state.

-IANS Inputs

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TAGS:Karnataka BJP congress Nadaprabhu Kempegowda 
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