Congress fumes as BJP unveils portrait of Savarkar in Suvarna Vidhana Soudha in Belagavi

Opposition Congress holds protest demanding portraits of Ambedkar, Nehru, Kuvempu, Kanakadasa and Valmiki in the Assembly hall of Suvarna Vidhana Soudha

December 19, 2022 12:28 pm | Updated 03:51 pm IST - BELAGAVI

Portraits of Swami Vivekananda, Subhas Chandra Bose, Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, Basaveshwara, Mahatma Gandhi, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel and V.D. Savarkar were unveiled on the first day of the winter session of the Karnataka Assembly, at Suvarna Vidhana Soudha in Belagavi, on December 19, 2022.

Portraits of Swami Vivekananda, Subhas Chandra Bose, Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, Basaveshwara, Mahatma Gandhi, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel and V.D. Savarkar were unveiled on the first day of the winter session of the Karnataka Assembly, at Suvarna Vidhana Soudha in Belagavi, on December 19, 2022.

The winter session of the Karnataka legislature got off to a stormy start on December 19 with the ruling BJP unveiling the portrait of Hindutva ideologue V.D. Savarkar, and six others, in the Assembly hall of Suvarna Vidhana Soudha (SVS) in Belagavi.

KPCC president D. K. Shivakumar argued that there is no connection between Savarkar and Karnataka. He accused the BJP government of unveiling Savarkar’s portrait at this juncture to divert people’s attention from the problems plaguing the State, including corruption and maladministration.

Later, the opposition Congress staged a protest at the entrance of SVS demanding portraits of several other personalities.

Leader of Opposition Siddaramaiah and KPCC president D.K. Shivakumar lead a protest by Congress MLA at the entrance of Suvarna Vidhana Soudha for alleged neglect of eminent leaders, at Suvarna Vidhana Soudha in Belagavi on December 19, 2022.

Leader of Opposition Siddaramaiah and KPCC president D.K. Shivakumar lead a protest by Congress MLA at the entrance of Suvarna Vidhana Soudha for alleged neglect of eminent leaders, at Suvarna Vidhana Soudha in Belagavi on December 19, 2022. | Photo Credit: BADIGER P K

Earlier, Speaker Vishveshwara Hegde Kageri unveiled the portraits of Savarkar, Vallabhbhai Patel, Mahatma Gandhi, Basaveshwara, B.R. Ambedkar, Subhash Chandra Bose and Swami Vivekananda in the Assembly Hall, in the presence of Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai.

Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai and Assembly Speaker Vishweshwar Hegde Kageri unveil a portrait of Mahatma Gandhi on the first day of the winter session of the Karnataka Assembly, at Suvarna Vidhana Soudha in Belagavi on December 19, 2022.

Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai and Assembly Speaker Vishweshwar Hegde Kageri unveil a portrait of Mahatma Gandhi on the first day of the winter session of the Karnataka Assembly, at Suvarna Vidhana Soudha in Belagavi on December 19, 2022.

The opposition Congress skipped the portrait unveiling programme. Instead, they staged a protest at the entrance of the Suvarna Vidhana Soudha seeking portraits of various other prominent personalities.

Led by Leader of Opposition Siddaramaiah and KPCC president D. K. Shivakumar, the protesting Congress members sat on the steps of the entrance of SVS, holding pictures of Kanakadasa, Ambedkar, Valmiki and Kuvempu who, they claimed, had made significant contributions to India.

Before staging the protest, Mr. Siddaramaiah wrote a letter to Mr. Kageri stating his demand. In the letter, Mr. Siddaramaiah said there is a need to keep alive the egalitarian ideals and principles of various iconic personalities by installing their portraits.

He cited Basaveshwara, Narayana Guru, Maharshi Valmiki, Kanakadasa, Jawaharlal Nehru, B.R. Ambedkar, Kuvempu, Vallabhbhai Patel and Babu Jagjivanram as among the numerous people who made an invaluable contribution to the Indian cultural heritage.

BJP State general secretary Ravikumar said the BJP is ready to put up portraits of the personalities suggested by the Congress. In fact, the portraits of Basaveshwara, Ambedkar and Vallabhbhai Patel were among those unveiled in the Assembly Hall, he said.

Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai and Karnataka Assembly Speaker Vishweshwar Hegde Kageri unveil portraits of Swami Vivekananda, Subhas Chandra Bose and Dr. B.R. Ambedkar on the first day of the winter session of the Karnataka Assembly, at Suvarna Vidhana Soudha in Belagavi, on December 19, 2022.

Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai and Karnataka Assembly Speaker Vishweshwar Hegde Kageri unveil portraits of Swami Vivekananda, Subhas Chandra Bose and Dr. B.R. Ambedkar on the first day of the winter session of the Karnataka Assembly, at Suvarna Vidhana Soudha in Belagavi, on December 19, 2022.

Regarding Savarkar, he BJP countered that the Congress’ iconic leader and former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi had hailed Savarkar and his contribution to India.

The Congress then tweaked its strategy. Instead of opposing the statue of Savarkar, they demanded that portraits of other prominent personalities too be displayed in the Assembly Hall.

Top News Today

Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in

Comments

Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.