Bengaluru, (DHNS): Alliance partner Congress rushed to justify Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy’s absence from the Tipu Jayanti fete scheduled for Saturday, even as it was perceived that he was not keen on participating in the 18th century Mysuru ruler’s birth anniversary.
Kumaraswamy’s name does not figure on the official invitation for the event at Vidhana Soudha. In a statement, the Chief Minister’s Office said on Friday: “On the advice of doctors, the CM will take three 3 days rest till November 11. He will spend time with family on these days and there will be no official engagements.”
The Tipu Jayanti celebrations, which began in 2014 under the Siddaramaiah-led Congress government, have been marked by protests every year, led by the BJP. The BJP is staunchly opposed to Tipu Jayanti as it perceives Tipu Sultan to be a “tyrant” and “anti-Hindu” while the Congress hails him as a patriot.
The saffron party held protests across the state, including Bengaluru. Security has been stepped up, while prohibitory orders have been clamped in Kodagu, Dakshina Kannada and Hubballi-Dharwad.
As an Opposition leader, Kumaraswamy was critical of Tipu Jayanti. Now, he heads a coalition where his partner is the Congress. Karnataka celebrates a total of 27 jayantis to honour various historical figures and personalities. “Society would not benefit from the
celebration of birthdays,” Kumaraswamy had said in the past, criticising the jayantis.
Kumaraswamy staying away from the event exposed the “duplicity” and “pseudo-secularism” of the ruling alliance, the BJP mocked.
Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee chief Dinesh Gundu Rao said Kumaraswamy’s name was not included in the Tipu Jayanti invite based on his intimation that he could not make it. “Once his name is printed and he doesn’t show up, there will be speculation. There
are no differences. The JD(S) and Congress are on the same page,” Rao said.
Minority Welfare Minister B Z Zameer Ahmed Khan claimed that Kumaraswamy had informed him of his decision on November 3 itself. “This isn’t a Congress event. The CM is not keeping well and will not be in town for three days,” Khan said. Didn’t Yeddyurappa celebrate Tipu Jayanti after he quit the BJP?” he asked
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