Amid the political turmoil over the Tipu Jayanti celebrations and a wary government ramping up security measures, differences of opinion have emerged between two Congress ministers over the venue of the celebrations in the capital.
While Deputy Chief Minister and Home Minister G Parameshwara wants the venue of the Tipu Jayanti celebrations to be changed from Banquet Hall in Vidhana Soudha to Ravindra Kalakshetra, Minority Welfare Minister Zameer Ahmed Khan feels otherwise.
Khan wants the celebrations to be held at Banquet Hall itself, like in the past. On Monday, after a meeting with senior police officers over the security arrangements to be made for the celebrations, Parameshwara told reporters that his department was putting in place elaborate measures.
He said processions, for or against Tipu Jayanti had been banned, and district administrations had been asked to ensure no posters or banners are put up.
Parameshwara said his department felt that venue of the event should be shifted from Vidhana Soudha to Ravindra Kalakshetra as a security measure. He also said that the event should come to a close by 2 pm.
Speaking to DH from Malur in Kolar district, Khan said Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy had given consent to hold the event at Banquet Hall at 6.30 pm.
He said both he and Kannada and Culture Minister Jayamala had met Kumaraswamy after a meeting with officials of both departments and apprised him of the preparations and arrangements.
“The chief minister has given a go-ahead to hold the event at Banquet Hall. There is no going back now,” he said.
The BJP has been staunchly opposing Tipu Jayanti, threatening massive protests if the government went ahead with the celebration.
Urging the government to drop its decision to celebrate Tipu Jayanti, BJP state president B S Yeddyurappa said the celebration was a new-found strategy of the Congress party for “minority appeasement politics”.
“I urge the government to drop its decision to celebrate Tipu Jayanti and not stand on prestige or ego. The people’s sentiments and emotions against Tipu are strong and widespread. Tipu Sultan was a controversial ruler on many counts. He was a religious bigot,” he said in a statement.