Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy will give the Tipu Jayanti celebrations on November 10 a miss ‘to take rest’. A statement from the Chief Minister's office said, “On the advice of doctors, the CM will take three days rest till November 11. He will spend time with family on these days and there will be no official engagements on these days.”
A source in the office told TNM that the CM is in good health and was taking rest due to the strain of campaigning in the recent bye-elections in Ramanagara. “Due to political pressure in the recent Karnataka bye-polls, he has been advised rest for three days. His health is fine and is currently in Mysuru with his family,” said the source.
The Tipu Jayanti celebrations this year will be held at the Banquet Hall of Vidhana Soudha in Bengaluru on Saturday. Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara had earlier stated that the celebration could be shifted to the Ravindra Kalakshetra but it was confirmed on Thursday that the celebrations would be held in the Vidhana Soudha.
With the CM skipping the celebrations, the event will see a Congress-heavy crowd as only a fewer JD(S) leaders are expected to take part in the celebrations. Senior JD(S) leader Basavaraj Horatti is one of the chief guests. Deputy CM will deliver the opening speech, per the official schedule.
The celebrations will mark the birth anniversary of the erstwhile Mysore kingdom ruler Tipu Sultan. Tipu Jayanti, which were officially introduced by the Siddaramaiah-led Congress government in 2015, had put CM Kumaraswamy in a fix this year. Kumaraswamy had previously criticised the decision to hold elaborate celebrations to mark the occasion and had called for the funds to be used for developmental purposes instead.
However, with the Congress-JD(S) coalition government in power, Kumaraswamy appeared to have been swayed by the Congress to approve the celebrations of Tipu Jayanti. He allowed the celebrations to be officially held this year too.
Speaking to reporters following the bye-election results on Tuesday, Kumaraswamy had tried to strike a balance. “I never said you should celebrate or not celebrate Tipu Jayanti. There are many communities in the country and people want to celebrate ‘jayanti’ of their leaders. If they (BJP) don't like to be part of the celebrations, there is no need to participate," he said.
The BJP has been opposed to the celebrations of Tipu Jayanti ever since the celebrations were formalised by the state government in 2015. The party's leaders held a protest in Bengaluru on Friday against the planned celebrations of the event. The leader of Opposition BS Yeddyurappa claimed that the Congress and JD(S) were trying to appease Muslims by celebrating the birth anniversary of Tipu Sultan.
In the past, Tipu Jayanti has been marred by violent protests in Mandya, Mysuru and Kodagu. The police in the state have placed prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the Indian Penal Code in Srirangapatna in Mandya, Kodagu and Chitradurga. Srirangapatna was once the capital of Mysore kingdom under Tipu Sultan's rule and is home to many monuments related to Tipu including the tombs of him and his family.