BENGALURU: The ruling Congress and opposition BJP in Karnataka are heading for a showdown on the state government-sponsored Tipu Jayanti celebrations on November 10 for the third consecutive year. BJP leaders have announced their boycott of the event with Union minister Anant Kumar Hedge calling the 18th century ruler of Mysore a “brutal killer” and a “mass rapist”.
BJP leaders said on Saturday they don’t want their names to be printed on the invitation cards for the celebrations.
Hegde wrote to the Karnataka chief secretary asking him to drop his name from the official invites to the function and said he was boycotting the function. Quick to follow him were BJP MPs Shobha Karandlaje and Nalin Kumar Kateel who also decided not to attend the event.
“Conveyed #KarnatakaGovt NOT to invite me to shameful event of glorifying a person known as brutal killer, wretched fanatic & mass rapist,” Hegde tweeted on Friday.
CM Siddaramaiah told reporters here on Saturday that protocol requires the names of elected representatives to be printed on invitations of government functions. “It’s up to the member to attend the event or not,” he added.
To this, Hegde retorted: “If the government prints my name on the invitation card, I’ll attend the function and raise slogans from the dais against Tipu. If Siddaramaiah has the guts, let him stop me.”
State BJP president B S Yeddyurappa chose not to comment on Hegde boycotting the event, saying it is an individual’s decision.
BJP spokesperson and MLA C T Ravi took to the social media to express his ire. “Communal Congress led by arrogant @siddaramaiah is repeatedly insulting Hindus by celebrating Tyrant Tipu Jayanti despite severe opposition… and thrive on anti-Hindu appeasement policies. There is no rule that demands Union minister has to attend Tipu Jayanthi celebrations just because @CMofKarnataka invites him,” he tweeted.