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‘I admire him, but…’: Eshwarappa’s CM defence as Nadda gives him an earful on saffron flag row

Written by Sharangee Dutta | Edited by Sohini Goswami, New Delhi
Feb 22, 2022 04:41 PM IST

Karnataka chief minister Basavaraj Bommai has said that Congress leaders are “selectively quoting” part of KS Eshwarappa's statement to mislead the southern state and the assembly.

Amid continued protests in the Karnataka Assembly over KS Eshwarappa's saffron flag remark, the minister said on Tuesday that while he “admired” BJP national president JP Nadda, the issue had been taken care of by chief minister Basavaraj Bommai. He, however, added that it is the duty of all BJP workers to “listen to what Nadda says”.

Senior BJP leader and Karnataka minister KS Eshwarappa said on Tuesday that chief minister Basavaraj Bommai has already replied to what his “saffron flag at Red Fort” remark. (Agencies)

Eshwarappa's statements came a day after Nadda, in an interview to a news platform, said he had reprimanded the Karnataka minister over his “saffron flag at Red Fort” comment.

“As a worker, I admire him (Nadda). But, our CM (Basavaraj) Bommai has already replied to what I said and what was wrong or not wrong,” Eshwarappa was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.

The Congress has been protesting and demanding Eshwarappa's dismissal and a sedition case against him over his recent statement that the saffron flag (representing the right wing) may become the “national flag” one day and the same can be hoisted at Delhi's Red Fort.

Responding to Nadda’s statement, former chief minister Siddaramaiah said, “BJP national president Nadda yesterday made a statement that whatever Eshwarappa said about the national flag is an insult to (it),” he told ANI, adding the minister statement was “very wrong and irresponsible”.

Recently, Opposition MLAs, led by Siddaramaiah and state Congress president DK Shivakumar staged an overnight protest inside the assembly.

Earlier this month, Eshwarappa had told reporters that after “100 or 200 or 500 years” the saffron flag may replace the Tricolour.

“People used to laugh at one point when we said Ram Mandir will be constructed in Ayodhya, aren't we constructing it now?” the BJP leader had further said.

Soon after, Bommai said Congress leaders were “selectively quoting" only a part of Eshwarappa's statement and “misleading” the state and the Assembly. The chief minister added that Eshwarappa had also clarified that hoisting of the saffron flag at Red Fort may not happen “immediately”, but in “300 or 500 years”.

Bommai has refused to take any action against Eshwarappa, stating he did not commit any mistake “legally”.

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