BENGALURU: BJP councillors on Friday participated in the election of BBMP Standing Committee members by tying a piece of black cloth to mark their protest against the Tipu Jayanti celebrations, who they said is a traitor. Ironically, not so long ago, BJP had passed a resolution in the Council to name a major road in Chamarajpet after the ruler. In fact, some BJP leaders had even endorsed Tipu’s contribution to society.
On April 10, 2015, when BJP was in power in the BBMP, a resolution was passed in the last council meeting of the House to name and rename many roads among which Chamarajpet 1st Main Road also figured. Later, when BBMP was under an administrator, some local organisations had urged T M Vijay Bhaskar to rename the road after Tipu Sultan, but BJP leaders in the city had opposed the move.
When questioned about this, N R Ramesh, who was then ruling party leader in the BBMP, said on the day of the last council meeting, a few organisations from Chamarajpet had given a representation to then-Mayor Shanthakumari to rename Chamarajpet 1st Main Road as Tipu Sultan road. The proposal was placed before the council at the last minute and since the representation did not mention the old name of the road, the council approved the new name. “We realised this after two days and we gave a letter to BBMP to drop the new name,’’ he said.
The road passes through two assembly constituencies — Chickpet and Chamarajpet. Interestingly, in 2011, the then Chickpet MLA Dr D Hemachandra Sagar of BJP had written to the BBMP Commissioner to name the road as Tipu Sultan Palace Road. In fact, in his letter, he had praised the Mysore ruler for his “immense contribution to society”. In 2012, in their letter to the BBMP Commissioner, BJP councillors B V Ganesh and P Dhanaraj too had endorsed Tipu and praised his works.
Speaking to Express, Mujahid Pasha of Social Democratic Party of India, who represents Siddapura ward, said that in 2015, when BJP was in power, a resolution on renaming the road was passed, but not implemented. Later, during the Congress-JD(S) coalition, it was approved by then Mayor Manjunath Reddy, but then too it was not implemented. Last year, when Padmavathi was Mayor, though approved in the Council, she did not sign the resolution. “When objections were called, more people came out in support of naming the road after Tipu Sultan,” he claimed.
“As recently as October 31, the proposal came before the Council for approval, but it was not read out for reason best known to the authorities. I will urge them to bring it up again the Council meeting this month,’’ he said. When asked what he would do if it is not approved, he said he may seek legal help.
What’s In A Name
Chamarajpet 1st Main Road was earlier named Albert Victor Road in honour of the Prince of Wales who had visited the city in 1888. Between the 1960s and 1970s many roads that had colonial names were renamed. In 1964, when Alur Venkat Rao passed away, it was decided to name the road after him. However, it was officially gazetted only in 1978 by the city corporation. Chamarajpet 1st Main Road came to be popularly known as A V Road, with the initials standing for both Albert Victor and Alur Venkat Rao.
Siddaramaiah attacks BJP
Bengaluiru: Chief Minister Siddaramaiah fired several salvos at BJP leaders protesting against the celebration Tipu Jayanti, and promised a bigger celebration next year. He was speaking at a function to celebrate Tipu Jayanti at Vidhana Soudha here on Friday. He said BJP was protesting the celebration due to political reasons in light of the upcoming elections. He brought up President Ram Nath Kovind’s speech praising Tipu at Vidhana Soudha, and condemned allegations by BJP leaders which claimed Congress had asked the President to praise Tipu. He also gave examples to indicate that BJP leaders changed their stances on Tipu, saying “do they have multiple tongues?” He said former chief minister Jagdish Shettar had written the preface for a book on Tipu titled ‘Tipu — a crusader for change’ by Sheikh Ali. He also recounted how BJP president B S Yeddyurappa had donned a turban and sword akin to Tipu when he was at the KJP. He recounted several allegations that had been directed at Tipu by BJP leaders in the run-up to Tipu Jayanti, and countered them all. He promised to celebrate the event in front of Vidhana Soudha the next year, instead of indoors. He paid tributes to the Mysore ruler by narrating his achievements in fighting against the British, and claimed Tipu Jayanti was celebrated peacefully across the state this year.