Tippu Sultan, the ruler of Mysore and the first freedom fighter, has become a tool for the BJP to fan religious hatred on the eve of the assembly elections and this led the Chief Minister Siddaramaiah to castigate the party and ask its leaders whether it is fair to criticize the historic giant for the sake of votes. The Chief Minister on November 10, speaking at a function at the Vidhana Soudha accused the BJP of trying to disrupt communal harmony in the state for election gains.
He gave instances of the BJP leaders who praised Tipu in the past but they are now opposing his Jayanti celebrations organized by the government. He said the leader of opposition Jagdish Shettar while being the Chief Minister had eulogized Tippu in the preface to a book on Tipu written by a historian Sheik Ali. BJP president B S Yeddyurappa had praised Tipu and former deputy Chief Minister K Ashok had a word of praise for the ruler of Mysore but all of them have now called him a brutal ruler who demolished temples.
Even today despite the BJP strongly opposing the Tippu Jayanti few leaders of the party participated in the celebrations. Former Minister and presently BJP MLA B S Anand Singh participated in the official celebrations at Hosapete and asserted that it was not fair to raise a controversy over things that may have happened in the past. The BJP disciplinary committee issued a notice to him as to why action should not be taken against him. Alongside this individual case, local BJP leaders in Cowl Bazar locality celebrated Tippu Jayanti in front of the BJP office.
As the Chief Minister explained that the BJP wanted to create communal tensions on the eve of the assembly polls, the party opposed the celebrations. The Union Minister Anant Kumar Hegde was the first who wrote a letter to the Karnataka government asking it not to send him the invitation for the celebrations because he said he could not praise the ruler who allegedly killed Hindus and committed mass rape.
The BJP leaders in the state as well as at the centre were at utter dismay when the President Ram Nath Kovind praised Tippu Sultan as the first freedom fighter while speaking at a function of the state assembly. The Chief Minister said the BJP leaders should learn at least from the word of the President.