B’luru airport to get massive Kempegowda statue: BSY

 Bengaluru founder Kempegowda. (DH Photo)

Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa has announced the construction of a massive statue of Bengaluru founder Kempegowda near the city’s international airport, in what is being seen as a move to assuage the Vokkaliga community’s anger against the BJP. 

“Our government has decided to release Rs 100 crore to make Bengaluru founder Kempegowda immortal. The BJP government has resolved to install a massive Kempegowda statue at the Bengaluru airport,” Yediyurappa said in a tweet on Friday. 

On Friday, citizens woke up to an article authored by Yediyurappa in several Kannada dailies in which he elaborated his plans. 

The chief minister said the “Kempegowda Development Authority had remained as an announcement”. “The previous governments gave nothing for this, but our government has decided to reconstitute it and give it Rs 100 crore,” Yediyurappa stated. 

Kempegowda’s statue, Yediyurappa said, will not be mere symbolism. “It will also be a collective where Kempegowda’s history and culture will be showcased,” he stated. “The infrastructure necessary will be provided to attract tourists who can learn more about Kempegowda. Literature on Kempegowda’s vision for Bengaluru will be brought out in Kannada and English.”

Yediyurappa added that the Authority had been tasked with developing a sound-and-light show to depict Kempegowda as the architect of modern Bengaluru. 

He said a blueprint will be prepared to develop memorials at Kempegowda’s native places of Avati, Magadi Fort, Yelahanka, Savanur Durga, Huthridurga and in Shivagange. 

The proposal was mooted in 2017 by the then Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, who said the government was in talks with the Centre to have a Kempegowda statue installed near the city’s airport.

Kempegowda, a 16th century chieftain who founded Bengaluru, is largely projected as an icon of the Vokkaliga community. Politically, Vokkaligas are one of the two dominant communities in Karnataka, with Lingayats, to which Yediyurappa belongs, being the other. 

On September 11, over 15,000 members of various Vokkaliga groups hit the streets, accusing the BJP of targeting their community’s Congress leader DK Shivakumar. 

The BJP is wary of the Vokkaliga community turning against it, and the CM was mindful of this when he said he was not happy with his arrest.

Ironically, Kempegowda is the name of Shivakumar’s father. 

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