K’taka govt drops Deve Gowda, Kumaraswamy from Kempe Gowda Jayanthi invitation; stirs row

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K’taka govt drops Deve Gowda, Kumaraswamy from Kempe Gowda Jayanthi invitation; stirs row

Bengaluru: The move by the Congress government in Karnataka to leave out former Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda and Union Minister for Heavy Industries and Steel H.D. Kumaraswamy from the invitations to celebrate Kempe Gowda Jayanthi has stirred a controversy.

Reacting to the development in Delhi, Kumaraswamy stated on Wednesday that “Kempe Gowda does not belong to anyone. He belongs to the state. I got to know that our names were dropped from the invitation. I won’t give much importance to it. I will not make an issue out of my name not being mentioned in the invitations anytime.”

“I have contributed to the growth of Bengaluru city during my tenure as chief minister twice. I will do things that will bring honour to Kempe Gowda. If they include my name now, it is not possible for me to attend the event. Tomorrow, the President is addressing both Houses of Parliament, and I need to be present here. I will pay my respects from here,” Kumaraswamy said.

Kempe Gowda Jayanthi is celebrated in different ways. Kempe Gowda’s photo is kept in every house and worshipped. The world is talking about Bengaluru city, and Kempe Gowda is behind it. The lakes built by him in Bengaluru are encroached upon; they need to be saved, Kumaraswamy stated.

“People claim that the Mekedatu project should be implemented. There is no drinking water presently, and it is not known what will happen after 15 years. If the government wants to celebrate the birth anniversary, let it save the lakes. Let them think about making use of rainwater. If this is done, I will salute the government,” he said.

BJP state president B.Y. Vijayendra opined in Delhi that one cannot become a community leader by cunningness and conspiracy. The people of the community will not agree to this. “We were successful in the Lok Sabha election. We don’t have sympathies for the Congress party, but we have sympathies for the people of the state,” he said.

Kempe Gowda, who hails from the Vokkaliga community, is the founder of Bengaluru city. The government celebrates the ruler’s birth anniversary every year on June 27. This year, the Congress government is celebrating Kempe Gowda Jayanthi with much fanfare. The decision to exclude the names of prominent leaders of the Vokkaliga community, former PM Deve Gowda and his son Kumaraswamy, has been criticized.

According to sources, Dy CM and Karnataka Congress president D.K. Shivakumar, who also hails from the Vokkaliga community, wants to project himself as the face of this influential community and ensure that the names of Deve Gowda and Kumaraswamy are omitted.

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