BENGALURU: The episode could not have come at a better time for BJP, which has termed Tipu Jayanti as a jinx for the Siddaramaiah government.
Shettar and Yeddyurappa have threatened to mount a strong attack on the government at the Belagavi session of state legislature starting on November 21 and organise a state-wide agitation if Sait is not sacked from the ministry.
Tipu Jayanti had claimed the lives of two youths last year in the violence that erupted during protests by VHP against the celebrations in Kodagu.
BJP is set to use its own sleazegate of 2012, when three of its ministers - CC Patil, Krishna Palemar and Lakshman Savadi - were forced to quit for watching porn videos inside the Assembly, to take a moral high ground now against Siddaramaiah.
“We had asked three of our ministers to quit without any hesitation. Siddaramaiah, who was the then leader of opposition, had spit fire at us, questioning BJP’s moral and ethical values. Now he should show the same spirit and sack Sait,” Shettar said.
Sait’s act has provided BJP leaders with an issue that could prove too hot for Siddaramaiah as any act of hard defence could provide more ammunition to the BJP to question the chief minister’s commitment to uphold the solemn spirit of Tipu Jayanti and respect the sentiments of the Muslim community.
Cannot act on media reports: CM
Chief Minister Siddaramaiah had a tough time reacting, even as the controversy erupted on Thursday evening. Siddaramaiah, who was chairing a meeting of the Water Resources Department when he received the news, is said to have immediately called up Sait over phone seeking an explanation about the embarrassing episode. Replying to questions from reporters as he emerged out of the meeting, Siddaramaiah said he will react after speaking to Sait and ascertaining the facts. “Can I act merely going by media reports?” he shot back when faced with more questions.