‘Shouldn't be there…’: Karnataka minister adds to Savarkar portrait removal buzz | Latest News India - Hindustan Times

‘If BJP finds it problematic…’: Karnataka minister adds to Savarkar portrait removal buzz

Dec 07, 2023 04:19 PM IST

The unveiling of Savarkar's portrait in December last had drawn criticism from the then opposition Congress, calling it a unilateral decision.

Karnataka minister Priyank Kharge on Thursday strongly opined that the portrait of Hindutva ideologue Vinayak Damodar Savarkar should not be inside the state assembly.

A portrait of Vinayak Damodar Savarkar.(Sonu Mehta/ Hindustan Times)
A portrait of Vinayak Damodar Savarkar.(Sonu Mehta/ Hindustan Times)

“Anybody whose ideology incites hatred and creates division should not be there in assembly, if BJP finds it problematic, then it is their issue,” Kharge told reporters.

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Savarkar's life-size portrait was unveiled inside the Assembly chamber at the ‘Suvarna Vidhana Soudha’, along with several national icons, during the previous BJP government's regime. The Congress had then criticised the move alleging that the party was kept in the dark.

Speculations are now rife that the portrait will be removed from the assembly chamber amid chief minister Siddaramaiah's assertion that Speaker will take the decision.

"It is left to the Speaker (to decide)," Siddaramaiah said on Monday in response to a question from reporters whether Savarkar's portrait will be removed.

The portrait of Savarkar, along with Swami Vivekananda, Subash Chandra Bose, B R Ambedkar, Basaveshwara, Mahatma Gandhi, and Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, was unveiled just before the winter session of the state legislature last year.

The Congress, led by Siddaramaiah, staged a demonstration outside 'Suvarna Vidhana Soudha' during the unveiling ceremony, protesting against the alleged unilateral decisions taken by the then BJP government. At the time, Siddaramaiah claimed that the demonstration was to demand the installation of portraits of national leaders and social reformers and that they were not protesting against any one portrait.

Speaker U T Khader revealed on Sunday that discussions are underway regarding the proposal to install the portrait of the first Prime Minister, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, inside the Assembly chamber, triggering speculations around the fate Savarkar's portrait.

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