The political mudslinging over the Tipu Jayanti issue has once again surfaced in Karnataka. On Sunday, the Congress tweeted pictures of state BJP leaders wearing Tipu-style turban.
The pictures were released after several BJP leaders including Union Minister Ananth Kumar Hegde, Udupi-Chikkamagaluru MP Shobha Karandlaje, Dakshina Kannada MP Nalin Kumar Kateel and Mysuru-Kodagu MP Pratap Simha made anti-Tipu statements on Saturday.
In the photos released by Congress on social media, BJP state President BS Yeddyurappa, Leader of Opposition in the Assembly Jagadish Settar and Former Deputy CM of Karnataka R Ashok are seen sporting Tipu-style turbans.
BJP leader DB Chandre Gowda is also seen sporting the turban along with MP PC Mohan.
The Congress, upon releasing the pictures has accused the BJP of practising double standards.
“Our government celebrates birth anniversaries of over 30 leaders, saints and builders of Karnataka. Tipu Jayanti is one of them. Instead of taking up public interest issues like bank loan waiver, Mahadayi, GST, the BJP in Karnataka is harping on non-issues,” CM Siddaramaiah said in a tweet.
Chief Minister Siddaramaiah also took a dig at Yeddyurappa in Mangaluru. “When Mr Yeddyurappa was in KJP (Karnataka Janata Paksha), he had celebrated Tipu Jayanti and Shobha Karandlaje had also attended the event. Now why is Yeddyurappa opposing Tipu Jayanti? They (BJP) are opposing it for political reasons,” he said.
Siddaramaiah also said that the BJP leaders in the state “did not know anything about Tipu’s contribution to society”.
“Do they (BJP leaders) know history and why Tipu mortgaged his own children? Do they know how Tipu died?” he questioned.
Taking pot shots at the BJP, CM Siddaramaiah said, "These photographs are proof of the BJP's double standards and hypocrisy. The BJP leaders who had earlier praised Tipu Sultan are now criticizing him for political gains."
Siddaramaiah said that the government would go ahead with the Tipu Jayanti celebrations even if the BJP leaders did not attend, while assuring that there would be no law and order problem.
However, BJP leader CT Ravi, lashed out against the Karnataka government’s decision to celebrate Tipu Jayanti and said, “Tipu was known for his atrocities against Hindus, the government is playing appeasement politics by celebrating Tipu Jayanti.”
A BJP source with knowledge about the photographs told TNM that the pictures were clicked during several Iftar parties organised by the BJP Minority Morch.
“The picture where Jagadish Settar and R Ashok are seen together was in August 2012 and was clicked during the Iftar party celebrated by the BJP Minority Morcha in Bengaluru. The second picture of Yeddyurappa dates back to 2010 when at another Iftar party. The BJP has never supported Tipu Jayanti and has never glorified him,” the source added.