Bengaluru: Naming a flyover in Bengaluru after freedom fighter and Hindutva ideologue Vinayak Damodar Savarkar has stirred fresh controversy in the state, with the opposition parties slamming it as an attempt to insult the regional freedom fighters.
On Thursday, which happens to be Savarkar’s birth anniversary, Karnataka CM BS Yediyurappa was to inaugurate the 400-metre long flyover in Yelahanka Upanagara Ward no 4, however, it was postponed over fears of social distancing violations.
In a tweet, Leader of Opposition and former chief minister Siddaramaiah termed the move to name the flyover after Veer Savarkar an insult to freedom fighters from Karnataka’s soil. He wrote, “The hasty decision to name Yelahanka flyover after Savarkar is an evidence to say that he administration is not run by an elected government, but by those behind the screen. Chief Minister are you seeking opposition cooperation for such anti-people decisions?”
Another former CM and JD(S) leader HD Kumaraswamy tweeted, “There are several eminent personalities who fought for the development and welfare of the state both before and after independence, flyover could have been named after them. Have other states named things after freedom fighters from the state? I urge the state government on behalf of the people to step back from the decision.”
However, decision to name the flyover at Yelahanka after Veer Savarkar was already taken at the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (city civic body) council meeting on 29 February.
According to reports, Bengaluru Mayor Gautam Kumar said that when a proposal is made to name flyovers or roads etc under BBMP jurisdiction after personalities, it is brought to the BBMP council for discussion. People’s opinions are sought through public advertisements and only after the due process the decision is taken.
Yelahanka MLA SR Vishwanath also defended the move stating that there is nothing wrong in naming the flyover after a freedom fighter who was jailed and suffered punishment at Kala Pani (erstwhile Andaman jail) punishment for the sake of the country.
He said legally as per rules BBMP council has approved it and all formalities have been completed and only after that the naming has been planned.