Tipu Jayanti celebrations cause rifts in Karnataka government, embolden BJP to intensify protests

A tableau depicting the might of Indian historical figure Tipu Sultan moves past during full dress rehearsals for the Republic Day parade.

NEW DELHI–Erstwhile Mysore royal Tipu Sultan is yet again at the centre of political controversy in Karnataka. This time celebration of his birth anniversary has caused rifts in the ruling Janata Dal (Secular)-Congress alliance run state government and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has got an issue around which to mobilise its cadres on the streets, The Indian Express reported.

The report mentions that the state government, particularly deputy chief minister Parameshwara, announced that there will be official celebrations of Tipu Sultan’s birth anniversary. Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy is not an avid supporter of this idea, initiated by former CM Siddaramaiah in 2014, so he has decided to rest over the weekend. “On the advice of doctors, the chief minister will take three days rest till November 11. He will spend time with family on these days and there will be no official engagements on these days,” said a statement from Kumaraswamy’s office.

The state unit of the BJP latched on to this and said there were rifts within the ruling alliance government. The newspaper report further states that the BJP MP from Mangalore region Nalin Kumar Kateel on Friday claimed that CM Kumaraswamy was allowing the official celebration to appease Siddaramaiah.

The protests motivated by the BJP have been significant enough for the government to impose curfew in many places of the state. As per this News18 report, prohibitory orders have been imposed in Hubli, Dharwad and Shivamogga.

A day before the official celebrations, on Friday, the BJP protested in Bengaluru, Mysuru and Kodagu. As per this Times of India report, the BJP’s protests prompted the state police to tighten security at Bengaluru, Mangaluru and Kodagu,