MLA’s dilemma: Allama or Azad?
Shivamogga MLA S.N. Channabasappa of the BJP, who vehemently urged Chief Minister Siddaramaiah to name the Freedom Park in Shivamogga city after freedom fighter Chandra Shekhar Azad in a public programme on Friday, remained silent the next day when his party colleague and Lok Sabha member B.Y. Raghavendra endorsed the Chief Minister Siddaramaiah’s suggestion of naming it after Allama Prabhu.
Following a request from Minister for School Education Madhu Bangarappa, who is also the Minister in-charge of Shivamogga, during the launch of the Yuva Nidhi scheme on January 12, Mr. Siddaramaiah said it would be proper to name the park after Allama Prabhu, a mystic poet of the 12th century believed to be a native of Balligavi in Shikaripur taluk. The BJP MLA did oppose the suggestion in his speech on the occasion, passionately arguing that the previous BJP government had already decided to name the place after freedom fighter Chandra Shekhar Azad, and the present government should not change it.
A day later, Mr. Raghavendra, in a press conference, made it clear that the Chief Minister’s choice of Allama Prabhu for the park was appropriate. “Earlier, in 2019, at a religious event, Siddeshwara Swamy of Vijayapura suggested naming the Freedom Park after Allama Prabhu. Former Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa was also present on the occasion,” he said. “We will name some other place after Azad in the coming days,” he said. Channabasappa, who was sitting next to the MP in the press conference, looked embarrassed but chose not to react.
Media’s obsession irks Lad
Labour Minister Santosh Lad was annoyed recently when the only question television channel reporters would ask him, at every possible occasion, was about the arrest of Srikanth Pujari, a “Ram Bhakt” as claimed by BJP leaders and a man in conflict with law arrested as per procedure as the police saw him. The usually soft spoken Minister lost his cool on one instance and asked, “Is he a Nobel prize winner? Why are you people so obsessed with him?“ He also sought to know how the person was so important for BJP now and why they had forgotten about him for the last three decades. Pujari was booked in 1992 in connection with a riot case after the Babri Masjid demolition.
The Minister, who also took serious exception to Union Minister Pralhad Joshi’s remark on the State being “run like ISIS and Taliban state”, had a question for the BJP leaders. “If Karnataka has indeed become an ISIS state, why then are the BJP leaders still living here?” he sought to know. Saying that being a Union Minister Mr. Joshi should speak in a more responsible manner, he also had a word of advice for the mediapersons. “It is also for you to cut them short when anyone makes such irresponsible and illogical statements,” he said. Not much hope of that happening, though.