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Guntur's Jinnah tower adorned with tricolor to keep communal flare-up at bay

The Jinnah tower, a landmark in Guntur with a considerable presence of Muslims, is said to have been built about 80 years back and the area is popular as Jinnah tower centre
Last Updated : 02 February 2022, 16:55 IST
Last Updated : 02 February 2022, 16:55 IST
Last Updated : 02 February 2022, 16:55 IST
Last Updated : 02 February 2022, 16:55 IST

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The ruling YSRCP has sought to put an end to the controversy around the Jinnah tower in Guntur by getting the green-colored minar painted with the three colours of the national flag.

Objecting to a structure in India standing in the name of All India Muslim League leader and Pakistan founder Md Ali Jinnah, the BJP has demanded that the tower should be either razed or renamed after the “missile-man”, former president APJ Abdul Kalam.

On January 26, an attempt by Hindu Vahini activists to hoist the national flag on the tower was foiled by the police.

As the BJP looked bent on further agitation on the matter, the YSRCP leadership is said to have directed its local public representatives to resolve the issue threatening to cause a communal flare-up.

A flag pole "about 50 feet tall" is also being installed in the traffic island where the tower is located on the Mahatma Gandhi Road in the city. The national flag would be hoisted there on Thursday.

“After meetings with the community leaders etc, we have decided to paint the tricolor on the tower with Ashoka chakra in the centre. Our national flag would be hoisted there by municipal administration minister Botcha Satyanarayana on Thursday,” Md Mushtafa Shaik, Guntur East MLA told DH.

Works are being carried out by the YSRCP-ruled Guntur Municipal Corporation.

The BJP and Hindutva organisations are claiming the development as their victory.

“The BJP is trying to communalise the tower erected in the forties, much before independence. Anyway, we are not agreeable to a name change now. Why alter something decided by our elders decades back?” Shaik says.

The Jinnah tower, a landmark in Guntur with a considerable presence of Muslims, is said to have been built about 80 years back and the area is popular as Jinnah tower centre.

After stalling a plan to install the Tipu Sultan statue in Proddutur town in Rayalaseema in June, the BJP had last month taken up the Jinnah tower matter.

BJP leaders say that the Pakistan government had in 2017 publicised “the tower in Guntur, India as a symbol of peace and harmony.”

“When in fact, it has a history of communal riots. It was built as a mark of gratitude to (Barrister) Jinnah who is said to have saved a few local Muslims facing the death penalty for communal riots, killings, by arguing in their favour,” Vishnu Vardhan Reddy, AP BJP general secretary said.

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Published 02 February 2022, 16:54 IST

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