Belagavi: The opening day of the Karnataka Assembly's winter session on Monday witnessed noisy scenes as the Government unveiled a portrait of Hindutva icon Veer Savarkar in the House.
Ruling BJP is keen to promote Veer Savarkar in the southern State months before the 2023 election. The party has launched a Statewide campaign to “raise awareness” about Veer Savarkar and honouring his portrait in Belagavi was a part of it.
Veer Savarkar also has a connection with Belagavi, which is currently witness to the border dispute with Maharashtra.
Savarkar was kept under preventive detention in the Hindalga central prison in Belagavi for four months in 1950. The arrest order was issued in Mumbai and Savarkar was arrested as he arrived in Belagavi.
He was detained to stop him protesting against the Delhi visit of Liaqat Ali Khan, former Pakistan Prime Minister. He was released after his family filed a petition.
Opposition leader Siddaramaiah led the protest against the unveiling of the portrait and questioned the need to feature a controversial figure inside the Karnataka Assembly. The Congress leaders held up pictures of Jawaharlal Nehru during the protest on the steps of the assembly building.
“They want us to disrupt the Assembly and protest. They know we are going to raise issues of corruption in the session so they are trying to cause trouble by putting up the Savarkar portrait without consulting the Opposition,” Karnataka Congress leader DK Shivakumar said.
In the last winter session of the Basavaraj Bommai-led Karnataka Government before the State election next year, the Karnataka-Maharashtra border dispute is likely to top the list of discussions.
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