Slugfest over Kempegowda statue inauguration in Bengaluru refuses to die down

State Congress president DK Shivakumar said the airport operators would have built the statue if the government had directed them to do so.

Published: 13th November 2022 02:57 AM  |   Last Updated: 13th November 2022 02:57 AM   |  A+A-

Vande Bharat Express train

The 108 feet statue of Nadaprabhu Kempegowda at Kempegowda International Airport in Bengaluru. (Photo | PTI)

By Express News Service

BENGALURU: A day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveiled Nadaprabu Kempegowda’s statue at the international airport in Bengaluru, the ruling BJP and the Opposition were engaged in a slugfest over disrespect to the community leaders.

Janata Dal (Secular) leaders hit out at the BJP for not inviting former prime minister HD Deve Gowda to the programme organised to unveil the 108-ft tall statue and accused the ruling party of trying to justify its mistake and mislead people by claiming that Chief Minister Basavara Bommai extended him an invitation. Bommai spoke to the former PM over phone at 9 pm on Thursday for the event on Friday afternoon and the letter was sent to him at 12.30 am, the JDS tweeted along with the CM’s letter dated November 10. The statue unveiling event was on November 11.

State Congress president DK Shivakumar said the airport operators would have built the statue if the government had directed them to do so. “They decided to do it, maybe they wanted commission or for some other reason,” the Congress leader said. The BJP is looking at the political benefit in everything, he said.

The BJP hit back at the Opposition for politicising the statue inauguration. Taking exception to the JDS’ criticism over not inviting Gowda to the programme, the BJP said the regional party resorted to false propaganda as it is disturbed over losing support from the Vokkaliga community.

The CM wrote to Gowda and also called him over the phone and invited him to the programme, the BJP state unit tweeted. Sources in the Chef Minister’s Office said Bommai called Gowda and also Leader of Opposition in the Assembly Siddaramaiah on Thursday evening after the PMO cleared the names of all the invitees for the event.


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