Tipu Sultan row: Centre refuses to intervene

Bengaluru: The Centre on Friday flatly refused to intervene in the brewing Tipu Sultan row in Karnataka saying the ‘peaceful’ debate over the issue must be continued, however, it would be unwise to expect any involvement by the government into the matter.

“The issue of changing the name of the Bengaluru airport is uncalled for. Kempegowda was a visioneary who had a plan for the state and he was one of the most popular leaders. Dragging his name into the controversy has no relevance at all and it is hurting the sentiments of the people,” Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu told the media here.

He added that Tipu Sultan was a controversial figure bound to raises issues from time to time and while some people admire him, some condemned him but that did not warrant the government to step in.

A bandh has been called today by the Bajrang Dal and the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) in Karnataka to protest against the death of a VHP leader in Madikeri during Tipu Jayanti celebrations.

The VHP has been protesting against the Congress government’s decision to honour Tipu Sultan, who according to them was a tyrant who persecuted Hindus and Christians.

Earlier, playwright Girish Karnad received a death threat for his campaign to rename Bengaluru’s Kempegowda International Airport after 18th century Mysore king Tipu Sultan.

Karnad, who participated in the Congress-led Karnataka Government’s ‘Tipu Jayanti’ celebrations, was threatened that he would ‘meet the same end as murdered writer M M Kalburgi.