We didn’t prepare President’s speech: Karnataka CM

Bengaluru: After BJP MLAs alleged that the ruling Congress “forced” President Ram Nath Kovind to praise Tipu Sultan, Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said on Wednesday that his speech was not prepared by the state government.

“We have not prepared the President’s speech. We have not even sent any note to the Rashtrapati Bhavan,” he said in a statement.

After the President referred to Tipu Sultan as a “pioneer” in the development of Mysore rockets (iron-casted rockets for military use) and that he died a “historic death” fighting the British, Karnataka BJP leaders alleged the speech was “scripted” by the state.

“The speech was a deliberate attempt by the Congress to make the President praise Tipu Sultan,” senior BJP leader and former Deputy Chief Minister K.S. Eshwarappa said after the joint session of the state legislature marking the diamond jubilee of Vidhana Soudha.

Siddaramaiah insisted that Kovind’s speech was the “President’s own”.

“Some leaders are unnecessarily creating a controversy out of the issue. It is very unfortunate and condemnable,” he said.

The President’s words came just few days after Union Minister Anantkumar Hegde, a BJP leader, called Tipu a “brutal killer, wretched fanatic and mass rapist”, ahead of the state’s Tipu Jayanti celebrations to mark his birth anniversary on November 10.

The BJP has been opposing the celebrations calling Tipu “anti-Hindu and anti-Kannada”.