The controversy over a flyover for Savarkar in a Bengaluru suburb refuses to die down, with a bunch of local residents of the Yelahanka suburb going ahead and naming the flyover after Veer Savarkar on Thursday, despite the government decision to postpone the inauguration of the project.
Thursday morning saw some local residents having painted 'Swatantra Veer Savarkar Flyover' in Kannada at the mouth of both ends of the flyover that never got inaugurated. However, no case has been taken up about the arbitrary christening of the flyover which was executed by the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP). Incidentally, the local MLA SR Vishwanath was keen to inaugurate and name the flyover on Thursday as it was Savarkar's birth anniversary.
The flyover was to be inaugurated by Chief Mnister BS Yediyurappa on Thursday morning but it was put off, considering prohibitory orders are still in place amid the lockdown. Though the BBMP, which has built the flyover, only talked of the flyover as the 'Yelahanka New Town flyover.
Vishwanath, who is also political secretary to the CM, reiterated on Thursday that he would not back down on the name for the flyover; that it would be formally inaugurated as the 'Savarkar flyover' next month.
The proposal of Savarakar's name has come into a lot of flak both from Opposition parties as well as Kannada-rights groups, who said that a Kannadiga hero or personality must be identified to name projects with- not someone from other States.
"It is an insult to Karnataka's freedom fighters when you take a decision to name the Yelahanaka flyover after VD Savarkar. Pl withdraw this decision immediately. On one hand you seek the cooperation of Opposition parties, and then you take such anti-people decisions," tweeted Leader of Opposition Siddaramaiah.
Another Opposition leader HD Kumaraswamy said there are many heroes in Karnataka who deserve the honour. "There are many who have fought for the interests of Karnataka before independence and after. you could alwys name the flyover after one of them. do other states name their monuments after Karnataka's heroes?" he tweeted.
The Congress also held a protest outside the BBMP office, saying the decision had not gone through the usual process of getting discussed and approved in the BBMP Council meeting, where corporators from all wards of the city are represented.
Chief Minister BS Yediuyurappa was supposed to inaugurate the flyover today but hte programe was cancelled after the controversy, besides taking into account that a public gathering would not be prudent when there is a lockdown and prohibitory orders.
Vishwanath was however, obstinate on the issue. "Let them hold whatever protest they want. If Kumaraswamy wishes, we can name projects after personalities in his family too in coming months. But let them not insult our freedom fighters like Savarkar. We will go ahead with this name because most of the people of Yelahanka are pro-Savarkar. Even if some protest, we will 200 per cent name this after Savarkar when we dedicate this project to the public next month," he told newspersons.