news Monday, June 01, 2015 - 05:30

The BJP has found itself in the embarrassing position of having to reverse the decision to rename a Bengaluru road after Tipu Sultan, something its own members had agreed upon a month ago. At the fag end of its term in April, the last BBMP council led by the BJP unanimously passed a resolution to rename the Aluru Venkata Rao Road in the Chamarajpet area after the Tiger of Mysore. Now, they say they have to “correct the mistake”. A delegation of BJP leaders including PC Mohan, Suresh Kumar, Ashwathanarayana and others on Monday submitted a memorandum to Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) administrator TM Vijay Bhaskar urging him to cancel the notification. There is a lot of confusion as to how the BJP ended up passing the resolution, given the party’s long-standing dislike for Tipu Sultan. Last December, when the Siddaramaiah-led government proposed to celebrate Tipu Jayanti, the BJP staunchly opposed it. To the BJP, Tipu was a king who “converted Hindus” and “killed Hindus”. According to a Bangalore Mirror report, floor leader NR Ramesh had moved a proposal in the BBMP Council to rename Alur Venkata Rao Road to Tipu Sultan Palace Road in April. The BJP-majority council passed the resolution unanimously and the BBMP published a notification to this effect on May 17. However, the BJP is now saying that the resolution was a “mistake” which had gone through without the knowledge of some senior leaders. S Prakash, co-ordinator of the state BJP media cell, said that although some members had introduced the proposal, they had decided on opposing the change in name. “We are rectifying the mistake previously made,” he told The News Minute. He added that changing the name would be a sign of disrespect to Alur Venkata Rao who was responsible for the unification of Kannada-speaking regions. He said, “We feel it is unjust to rename a road that is already assigned to a great leader and replacing him with another leader. We are not against Tipu Sultan; we are only saying that any other road in Bengaluru can be chosen to rename it after Tipu Sultan.” Even though Prakash claimed the party has nothing against Tipu, just last December Suresh Kumar, strongly opposed the declaration of a day as Tipu Jayanti calling the Tiger of Mysore someone who had committed “barbaric acts” against people. Speaking to The News Minute on Monday, Suresh Kumar had a different tune to sing. He said the resolution had been passed without anyone even realising it. “It was the last day, last session of the Council and many resolutions had already been taken up. It was not in listed in the agenda but somehow the issue got pushed and the Mayor suggested the members should take up the resolution. Since it was the last one being discussed everyone said okay without giving it a thought,” he said. NR Ramesh however said that four Congress members had proposed to get 4th Cross, Chamarajpet renamed as Tipu Sultan Palace Road, and everyone agreed as nobody knew that the road was currently called Aluru Venkata Rao Road. Suresh Kumar said that he had later admonished Ramesh for not knowing about the contributions Alur Venkata Rao had made and for failing to realise that such a resolution could have wrong implications. He said that this had occurred unknowingly and was a mistake that they were set to rectify.

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