From banning state-sponsored Tipu Jayanti celebrations, to wanting the chapter on Tipu Sultan removed from school textbooks, the BJP government in Karnataka has courted many controversies surrounding Tipu. Now, Bengaluru’s civic body, the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike’s council has decided to rename Tipu Sultan Circle in the city.
On Tuesday, a special meeting was held, where Mayor Goutham Kumar made a decision to remove Tipu Sultan’s name from the junction. An order was issued for the same, and this was done without discussion in the council.
Back in 2018, then Congress leader in the BBMP Council, M Shivaraju had proposed renaming Bellahalli junction to Tipu Sultan Circle in Jakkur. The decision was seconded by Congress corporator RS Satyanarayana. The proposal was also supported by BJP corporator from Yediyur NR Ramesh. At the time, the BBMP Council had unanimously passed the decision to rename the junction as Tipu Sultan Circle.
The council members had floated the proposal after consulting with the residents of Bellahalli. However, the decision was overturned in Tuesday’s meeting.
Angered by the turn of events, the Congress leaders in the BBMP Council raised objections to the decision, stating that no consultation was done and that the matter was not put to vote in the council before the decision was made by Mayor Goutham.
“Naming the circle after Tipu Sultan had been, in fact, first proposed by BJP council member NR Ramesh. Why is the BJP going back on its own actions? The mayor cannot take suo motu decisions without floating the matter in the council,” said Leader of Opposition in the BBMP Council Abdul Wajid.
Congress corporators accused the ruling party of flouting laws. Quoting the Karnataka Municipal Corporation Act, Wajid said that such decisions cannot be made by the mayor without obtaining the vote of two-thirds of the council members.
Speaking to TNM, Mayor Goutham said that it was an error that the issue was not discussed in the council. He added that he had only deferred the issue, and asked the BBMP Commissioner BH Anil Kumar to look into the legality of the issue.
“We have only decided to not go ahead with changing the name. We will discuss it further in the council,” he said.
BBMP Commissioner Anil Kumar said that the matter has been sent to the Palike’s legal team, after which a final decision will be made.
“Let them put the matter to vote, we don’t want the junction to be named after Tipu Sultan. Once legalities are sorted out, we will proceed with the matter,” BBMP Leader of the ruling party in the council, Padmanabha Reddy said.