K’taka CM, deputy give Tipu Jayanti a miss; protesters de­tained

Hindustan Times (Chandigarh) - - HTNATION - Vikram Gopal

BEN­GALURU : The Kar­nataka govern­ment Satur­day cel­e­brated the 269th birth an­niver­sary of erst­while Mysore (My­suru) ruler Tipu Sul­tan even as chief min­is­ter HD Ku­maraswamy and his deputy G Paramesh­wara gave the event a miss, draw­ing sharp crit­i­cism from the BJP.

The Bharatiya Janata Party, which is op­posed to the cel­e­bra­tion, which was started by for­mer chief min­is­ter Sid­dara­ma­iah in 2015, said the chief min­is­ter’s ab­sence was a U-turn. In a tweet, Bharatiya Janata Party’s Kar­nataka unit said, chief min­is­ter @hd_ku­maraswamy Miss­ing! While CONG-JD(S) govern­ment is cel­e­brat­ing a tyrant Tippu, the chief min­is­ter him­self goes into hid­ing, what is the point of cel­e­brat­ing a fa­natic when chief min­is­ter him­self aban­dons a govt func­tion. Glo­ri­fy­ing a mass mur­derer just for vote bank clearly shows mind­set of this govt.”

While Sid­dara­ma­iah had headed the pre­vi­ous three cel­e­bra­tions, this time ir­ri­ga­tion min­is­ter DK Shivaku­mar and food and civil sup­plies min­is­ter BZ Zameer Ahmed presided over the event. The chief min­is­ter’s of­fice con­firmed that Ku­maraswamy was ad­vised rest as he has a his­tory of heart-re­lated ail­ments and hy­per­ten­sion. Paramesh­wara, mean­while, is abroad, his of­fice con­firmed and is set to re­turn late on Satur­day.

“The chief min­is­ter had said that he is un­well and his health is very im­por­tant. Paramesh­wara was de­layed for some un­forsee­able rea­sons, and that’s why he could not make even though he was ex­pected to. I, too, am part of the govern­ment and de­cided to come here and take part at the event,” Shivaku­mar said.

Zameer Ahmed said Paramesh­wara had trav­elled to Sin­ga­pore to visit the for­mer min­is­ter C Chen­ni­gappa, who is un­der­go­ing treat­ment in there. “There was some mis­com­mu­ni­ca­tion be­cause he thought the event was in the evening. And de­spite his re­peated at­tempts to make it to the event he has been un­able to,” Ahmed said.

Mean­while, a group of Mus­lim lead­ers, in­clud­ing Zameer Ahmed, fe­lic­i­tated Sid­dara­ma­iah by pre­sent­ing him with a Tipu Sul­tan cap and sword at his residence. “Tipu was born in this land, gave good gov­er­nance and pro­moted unity be­tween Hin­dus and Mus­lims, and had many Hin­dus in his ad­min­is­tra­tion. So, to call him anti-hindu or anti-kan­nada is com­pletely base­less,” Ahmed said.

No processions ei­ther in sup­port or op­pos­ing the event were al­lowed by the govern­ment.

Protesters were de­tained by the po­lice across the state to avoid any un­to­ward in­ci­dents. Among those de­tained were BJP MP Prahlad Joshi and the party’s state vice-pres­i­dent M Na­graj, be­sides from MLA A Ap­pachu Ran­jan and sev­eral worker across the state.

How­ever, the most tren­chant crit­i­cism came from within the Congress as Tan­veer Sait, a for­mer min­is­ter and its MLA from My­suru, called the chief min­is­ter and deputy chief min­is­ter’s ab­sence as an in­sult to the Mus­lim com­mu­nity.

“This is an in­sult to the com­mu­nity...my duty is to ex­press the feel­ings of the com­mu­nity and not just the views of the party,” he said.

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