Bengaluru: Karnataka chief minister HD Kumaraswamy will not participate in controversial Tipu Jayanti celebrations and has cited health reasons for his absence. This even as Section 144 will come into place in the cities of Hubli and Dharwad as well as the district of Kodagu from 0600hrs on Saturday till 0700hrs on Sunday.
News agency ANI reported that Kumaraswamy has been advised rest for three days - till Monday - by his doctors and therefore, won't be part of the celebrations on Saturday. The celebrations themselves have once again become a raging issue in his state with the BJP labelling it as a means of appeasing Muslims. "We are opposing this (Tipu Jayanti). Nobody will appreciate this celebration. Government`s intention behind the Tipu Jayanti celebration is just to satisfy the people of the Muslim community. Even within the Congress and JD(S), people are opposing this," BS Yeddyurappa had said on Thursday. A day later, BJP workers staged a massive protest against the celebrations for the birth anniversary of Tipu Sultan, the 18th-century ruler of erstwhile Mysore kingdom. Party leaders have said that Tipu was responsible for killing thousands of people in Kodagu and Mandyam Iyengars of Melukote near Mysuru. They also said that Kumaraswamy wanted to avoid controversy and therefore, has chosen to stay away from celebrations.
JDS minister B Kashempur though has said that the CM has given full authority to his ministers to be part of the celebrations. "JDS Minister Venkatrao Nadagouda is attending on behalf of Karnataka CM HD Kumaraswamy in Bengaluru," he said.
Meanwhile, security has been tightened across Karnataka ahead of Saturday with Section 144, which prohibits assembly of more than four people in an area, to be imposed in Hubli, Dharwad and Kodagu. Security in Bengaluru and Manguluru too has been increased.