Bengaluru: Chief Minister B.S.Yediyurappa was firm on Wednesday that his government would not celebrate the birth anniversary of 18th-century Mysuru king, Tipu Sultan on November 10 and revealed it was also considering removing a lesson glorifying him in the state’s primary school textbooks
The Chief Minister, who has completed 100 days in office, was addressing the Bengaluru Reporters’Guild and Bengaluru Press Club in the city at their invitation.
“I am 101 per cent sure that we will not celebrate Tipu Jayanti. The district authorities have been directed to give up the annual event. We will also consider removing a portion of a lesson glorifying him in the primary school textbooks,” the chief minister said.
Madikeri BJP MLA, Appachu Ranjan had recently submitted a memorandum to primary and secondary education minister, Suresh Kumar, demanding the removal of a lesson portraying the Mysuru king as a freedom fighter, calling it misleading as according to him, he was a “tyrant,” who had killed innocent people in Kodagu and Mangaluru during his rule.
In response, Mr Suresh Kumar had referred the issue to a committee, but the Chief Minister was categorical that the government would consider removing this portion of the lesson on Tipu in the textbook.
Mr. Ranjan had also appealed to the state government to cancel the Tipu Jayanti celebrations in a memorandum to it and Mr Yediyurappa agreed to do so soon after he became Chief Minister.
‘I have all the freedom to do my job’
While Chief Minister B.S.Yediyurappa conceded here on Wednesday that the decision to appoint three Deputy Chief Ministers in the state was taken by the BJP’s central leadership, he claimed it was not trying to clip his wings and had given him all the freedom he needed to do his job.
Interacting with the media at an event organised by the Bengaluru Press Club here and Bengaluru Reporters’ Guild, he admitted he had inducted the three Deputy Chief Ministers on the directions of the party’s national leadership, but said the decision was taken “out of political compulsion.”
Rubbishing media reports about the BJP high command ignoring him and clipping his wings, he said he had to work under party guidelines, but there were no restrictions on him in matters of cabinet expansion.
“It is wrong to say that I am being controlled by the party high command. I have had its full support in whatever decision I have taken over the last three months. It has given me a free hand and there is absolutely no interference from it,” he maintained, dismissing former Chief Minister, Siddaramaiah’s comment calling him a puppet in the hands of the BJP’s national leaders.
Also refuting speculation about his removal as Chief Minister, he said there was no doubt he would complete his term. ” I will complete my term of three years,” he emphasised.
Asked about the transfer of two IAS officers of his choice based on the party’s direction, Mr. Yediyurappa claimed the decision was taken for administrative purposes. He also defended the appointment of several political secretaries, arguing that he was only following a long-established practice.
On flood relief work, he claimed there was no dearth of funds and his government was committed to providing Rs. 5 lakh each for construction of houses in flood-hit areas.
“We have released the funds by overlooking NDRF guidelines in the flood-hit districts, which no state has ever done. There is no shortage of funds for relief work as the Centre has released Rs. 1,200 crore and will soon release the second instalment,” he said, adding that the state’s financial condition had improved as it had achieved its target in the collection of revenue.
As for the disqualified MLAs preparing to contest the coming bypolls on BJP tickets, he said the party had not taken a decision yet on inducting them and would take a call after the Supreme Court gave its verdict on their appeal against the decision of the former Speaker Ramesh Kumar disqualifying them, in November.