Special Correspondent

Bangalore: The State Government is understood to have garnered the support of important political leaders and Kannada protagonists ahead of the all-party meeting convened on Monday to discuss the issue of unveiling the statue of saint poet Tiruvalluvar in Bangalore.

The statue is tentatively scheduled to be unveiled on August 9.

In exchange, the Government of Tamil Nadu has agreed to unveil a statue of saint poet Sarvagna at Ayanavaram in Chennai.

Tiruvalluvar’s statue in the vicinity of Ulsoor Lake near the Bangalore Tamil Sangam premises has been kept under wraps for nearly two decades following a controversy.

Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu M. Karunanidhi has already arrived in Bangalore and one of the important programmes during his stay here is the unveiling of the statue.

Former Chief Minister S.M. Krishna had agreed to unveil the statue on Sankranti day (January 14) in 2001. Interestingly, this was one of the important conditions of forest brigand Veerappan when he had kidnapped Kannada actor Rajkumar. The location of the statue in Bangalore was earlier planned inside the Ulsoor Lake similar to that of the nearly 130-foot-tall Tiruvalluvar statue in the Indian ocean facing the mainland at Kanyakumari.

A statue of Tiruvalluvar in Bangalore was planned by the Bangarappa Government in 1991-92.

The president of the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC), R.V. Deshpande, has extended support to the Government for unveiling the statue. He said Tiruvalluvar and Sarvagna were above regional boundaries and languages. “Erecting their statues is an honour bestowed on us. Let there be no dispute on such matters. This is the view of the Congress party. Unveiling the two statues will improve the relations between Tamil Nadu and Karnataka,” he said.

Similar sentiments have been expressed by chairman of the Kannada Development Authority Mukhya Mantri Chandru and Jnanpith award-winner U.R. Ananthamurthy.

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