The Tipu Jayanti issue has once again surfaced in Karnataka politics.
On Saturday morning, Union Minister Ananth Kumar Hegde made a statement to the media demanding that his name be removed from the invitation for the state's Tipu Jayanti celebrations.
The Union Minister of State for Skill Development also dashed off a letter to top officials in the Karnataka government, informing them to “leave him out of any events or celebrations of Tipu Jayanti”.
In a letter addressed to the Chief Secretary and the Deputy Commissioner of Uttara Kannada district, Ananth Kumar Hegde told them not to include his name in programme invitations.
"I have conveyed to the Karnataka government not to invite me to a shameful event that glorifies a person known to be a brutal killer, wretched fanatic and mass rapist,” he said in a tweet.
Hegde, a five-time MP from Uttara Kannada, has strongly opposed the state-sponsored celebrations of Tipu Jayanti since it began in 2015.
The Chief Minister, told the media that protocol mandates that Minister Ananth Kumar Hegde’s name be included in invites for all government events held in the district.
Chief minister Siddaramaiah lashed out against Hegde for refusing to attend the festivities and accused him of politicising the issue for no reason.
"As a member of Union government, he should not have written that letter. Invitations (for Tipu Jayanti celebration) will be sent out to all central and state leaders from the state. It is up to them to accept or reject it," CM Siddaramaiah told ANI on Saturday.
"The issue is being politicised. There were four wars against the British and Tipu fought them all,” Siddaramaiah later told the media.
The Karnataka government's decision to celebrate Tipu Jayanti on November 10 every year has faced vehement opposition from the BJP.
The saffron party and the RSS have repeatedly slammed the decision of the state government and pegged it to minority appeasement.
BJP MP Pratap Simha had also pointed out that November 10 was the day Tipu allegedly hanged 700 Melkote Iyengars and not Tipu’s birth anniversary.
The state government’s decision to go ahead with the celebrations, has witnessed widespread protests and violence, marring the celebrations during the last two years. In 2015, two people died during clashes on Tipu Jayanti. However, the state government is all set to proceed with the event for the third year.