BJP, Congress cross swords as President heaps praises on Tipu

Govt delibrately added remark on ex-Mysore ruler in Kovind'speech: Shettar

BJP, Congress cross swords as President heaps praises on Tipu

In an embarrassment to the BJP, President Ram Nath Kovind described Tipu Sultan as a “hero” who died fighting the British during his address to the joint session of the State legislature to mark the diamond jubilee of the Vidhana Soudha on Wednesday.

The remark was greeted by thumping of desks by the Congress legislators while the BJP members remained mute spectators. The BJP has been opposing Siddaramaiah government’s decision to observe Tipu Jayanti in all districts on November 10, stating that the former Mysore ruler was “anti-Hindu” and “anti-Kannada”.

In his address, Kovind said Karnataka is a land of formidable soldiers and named Krishnadevaraya, Kempe Gowda, Rani Chennamma and then went on to say, “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.”

The President’s remark snowballed into a controversy with the BJP and the Congress indulging in a fresh bout of blame game. Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly Jagadish Shettar charged that the President’s speech was prepared by the state government and the Tipu remark was a deliberate entry. “Governor or President’s address to the legislature is printed beforehand in the form of a booklet and circulated to members when the speech is being delivered. Why was it not done today?” he asked.

However, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah rubbished the BJP’s charge. “They do not know what they are talking. Does the state government prepare the President’s address ? The BJP leaders should know the basics. The BJP has been spreading lies about Tipu Sultan and now cannot digest the fact that the President has said the truth,” Siddaramaiah said.

He recalled that BJP state president B S Yeddyurappa, when he had floated the KJP had worn a “Tipu” turban, held a sword and praised the former ruler to the skies.
Asked whether Kovind’s remark will come in the way of BJP’s anti-Tipu agitations, Shettar replied in the negative. “He is not BJP’s president. He is the President of the nation,” he said.

Yeddyurappa said he did not want to make any comment. JD(S) state president H D Kumaraswamy backed the state government and said the President’s address had been prepared at the Rashtrapati Bhavan.

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