The Congress and JD(S) in Karnataka have opposed the move to name a flyover in the city after freedom fighter and Hindutva ideologue Veer Savarkar, and termed it as an insult to freedom fighters of the state.
The inauguration of 400 metre long flyover, which according to sources has been constructed at a cost of Rs 34 core, was scheduled for today but has now been postponed due to fears of social distancing violations. It was to be inaugurated by Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa today, which happens to be Veer Savarkar's birthday.
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 and urged Mr Yediyurappa to drop it and instead name it after a freedom fighter from the state.
In a tweet, he said: "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 Chief Minister and JD(S) leader HD Kumaraswamy said the decision was an insult to those who fought for the prosperity of the state and it was not right on the part of the government to do so.
"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," he tweeted.
According to sources, the decision to name the flyover at Yelahanka after Veer Savarkar was taken at the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (city civic body) council meeting on February 29.
Defending the move, Yelahanka MLA SR Vishwanath, who is also the political secretary to Chief Minister said, there was 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.
Mr Vishwanath termed the attempt to create controversy over naming the flyover after Savarkar as insult to freedom fighters, adding that several projects and bridges in his constituency have been named after eminent personalities of the state and the county and this was one such move.
The Congress said naming of the bridge after Veer Savarkar was taken, despite opposition, and questioned Savarkar's contribution to Karnataka and Bengaluru.
The Congress and other opposition parties had earlier opposed the move to confer Bharat Ratna on Veer Savarkar, posthumously.