Prominent BJP leader and MLC AH Vishwanath has put his party and Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa in a spot by praising Tipu Sultan, equating him with iconic freedom fighter Sangoli Rayanna. He also described Tipu as a son of the soil.
Answering a query about the government’s decision to scrap chapters on Tipu from the Class V textbook, he said: “Tipu belongs to no party or religion, but is a son of the soil. The chapter on him has only moved to Class VII from V, and not been removed.”
Vishwanth was among the 17 ruling MLAs of the Congress-JD(S) in the erstwhile HD Kumaraswamy government who resigned and defected to the BJP, paving the way for the Yediyurappa government to come to power. However, he lost the December 2019 byelection and was later made an MLC by the BJP.
The BJP and the Congress have been crossing swords over Tipu Sultan. While the Congress has held Tipu as a freedom fighter who fought the British, the BJP stand was he was a despot and a tyrant who destroyed Hindu temples during his rule. The BJP feels the Congress is in love with Tipu to woo the Muslim community.
It was in 2013 the then CM Siddaramaiah began the tradition of commemorating Tipu Jayanti as a formal state celebration.
The BJP and other pro-Hindu outfits had vehemently opposed the idea of celebrating Tipu in any form, including naming a train after the erstwhile king of Mysuru.
Soon after coming to power, Yediyurappa cancelled the state celebration of the event on November 10.