Karnataka CM inaugurates Chhatrapati Shivaji statue in Yellur fort

BJP MLA Ramesh Jarkiholi attends event, Congress MLA Lakshmi Hebbalkar does not

March 02, 2023 02:57 pm | Updated 02:58 pm IST - Belaglavi

Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai inaugurates a statue of Chhatrapati Shivaji in Rajhansgad near Yellur in Belagavi district on March 2, 2023.

Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai inaugurates a statue of Chhatrapati Shivaji in Rajhansgad near Yellur in Belagavi district on March 2, 2023. | Photo Credit: Badiger PK

Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai unveiled a larger-than-life statue of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj on Rajhansgad fort near Yellur in Belagavi district on March 2.

District in-charge Minister Govind Karjol, Belagavi MP Mangala Angadi, BJP MLAs Ramesh Jarkiholi, Anil Benake and Abhay Patil attended the function, However, Lakshmi Hebbalkar, MLA from Belagavi Rural constituency, who is the president of the event, did not attend.

Yellur is in Belagavi Rural Assembly constituency.

It seems that the political controversy over Congress and BJP leaders claiming credit for installation of the statue has been put to rest, at least for now.

Ms Hebbalkar has been claiming that she is responsible for development of the fort and installation of the statue. But Ramesh Jarkiholi insisted that the BJP government had released money for the project. He claims that Ms Hebbalkar has been trying to ‘hijack’ the inaugural programme and convert it into a Congress event.

In a meeting of supporters in Hire Bagewadi, Ramesh Jarkiholi had vowed to get the project inaugurated by the CM. “Ms Hebbalkar is trying to convert the function into a Congress event. But I will make sure that she does not succeed. It is a government project, and it shall be inaugurated as per government protocol,’‘ he had said.

Ms Hebbalkar’s brother and MLC Channaraj Hattiholi had accused Ramesh Jarkiholi of trying to disrupt the unveiling.

On March 2, Mr Bommai promised to release another ₹5 crore for development of the fort. The additional funds would be utilised to build community halls, guest houses, and amenities for tourists.

Mr Bommai claimed that B.S. Yediyurappa had released ₹14 crore during his tenure as Chief Minister for development of Rajhansgad. “G. Janardhan Reddy, then tourism minister, had released the funds on the request of Sanjay Patil, then BJP MLA,” the CM said.

The programme was organised by the district administration, department of tourism, department of Kannada and culture, and Karnataka Rural Infrastructure Development Limited (KRIDL).

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