BENGALURU: Thousands of BJP, RSS and VHP workers took part in ‘Kanakapura Chalo’ — a protest rally against the proposed 114-foot Jesus Christ statue in Kapali Betta. Kanakapura assembly segment is represented by former Congress minister DK Shivakumar, who had laid the foundation for the statue on December 25.
The rally began from Ayyappa Swamy Temple and concluded with a public meeting at Channabasappa Circle in Kanakapura. Senior RSS leader Kalladka Prabhakar Bhat, who was leading the rally, addressed the gathering, claiming the people living in and around Kapali hill do not want the statue. “Why Jesus statue? Why cannot we erect a statue of Basavanna or Vishveshatheertha of Pejawar mutt or Balagangadharanatha Swamiji, who has contributed to the nation?’’ Bhat questioned. He blamed Shivakumar for going ahead with the plan just to please his party high command Sonia Gandhi.
Meanwhile, senior BJP leader and former MLC Ashwath Narayan Gowda alleged that forced conversions are happening and that the brothers (Shivakumar and DK Suresh) are supporting this, which is unfortunate. “Kapali Betta was worshipped by Hindus, by erecting a Jesus Christ statue here, they are trying to break the harmony,’’ he alleged.
Reacting to the rally, Shivakumar said that BJP is in power, so let them do what they want. “I do not know who Kalladka Prabhakar is. I believe in humanity. In a democracy, there is a ruling party and an opposition. Anyone can come to Kanakapura, any leader or minister. We welcome them,” said Shivakumar. BJP leaders are alleging that this land is a gomala (grazing land) and belongs to the government, while Shivakumar is making it privatized.