Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa on Tuesday inaugurated a flyover in the city after freedom fighter and Hindutva ideologue Veer Savarkar, despite opposition from the Congress and JD(S) to naming it after him. The 400-metre long flyover, constructed at a cost of Rs34 core by city civic body Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike, is on the Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan Road at Yelahanka.
Speaking after inaugurating the flyover, Yediyurappa said Savarkar sacrificed his entire life for the freedom of India. It was apt to name the flyover after Savarkar, a “great patriot”, the Chief Minister said, as he noted that his government was giving priority for the all-round development of all cities in the state, including Bengaluru.
The flyover was earlier scheduled to be inaugurated on May 28 on Savarkar’s birthday. However, the government had postponed it at the last minute, citing COVID-19 related restrictions in place.
Both Congress and JD(S) flayed the move to name the flyover after Savarkar. Alleging that the BJP government in Karnataka did not show any interest regarding the Sangolli Rayanna (18th-century warrior and freedom fighter) statue in Belagavi district until there was a public movement for it, the state Congress in a tweet said,
“It was shameful and an act of treason to name the flyover at Yelahanka after Savarkar, who was accused of being involved in Gandhi’s killing.”
JD(S) too, pointing at issues that had cropped up against installing the Sangolli Rayanna statue at Belagavi, said that such a situation, it was against the move to name a public flyover after Savarkar, who does not have any connection with Karnataka.
Accusing the BJP government of adopting an ”anti-state policy” from the day it came to power, JD(S) said the move to name the flyover after Savarkar too was an extended part of this policy and demanded to know why it had not got it named after any esteemed personality in the state. JD(S) youth wing had planned a protest against the naming of the flyover, but were not given permission by police and leaders were detained.
Earlier in May too, the Congress and JD(S) had opposed the move and termed it as an ‘insult’ to freedom fighters of the state.