Proposal to Build 114-foot Tall Statue of Jesus Christ in Karnataka Leads to War of Words between BJP and Cong
DK Shivakumar's office claimed that the proposed statue, set atop a 13-foot pedestal, would be the tallest monolith of Jesus Christ in the world.
Congress leader DK Shivakumar standing in front of the model statue of Jesus Christ, based on which the actual statue will be built.
Bengaluru: Two days after Congress leader DK Shivakumar inaugurated the foundation of a proposed 114-foot statue of Jesus Christ in his constituency Kanakapura, BJP leaders have taken objection to the move, labelling it “appeasement politics”.
Criticising Shivakumar, former Union Minister Anant Kumar Hegde said, “Here is the Tihar-returned great man who, for the sake of a position, is seeking to please the Italian woman (referring to Congress president Sonia Gandhi) by setting up a huge Jesus statue, thus displaying his gallantry. It won’t be a surprise if more slaves within the Congress compete with each other to do appeasement politics."
Shivakumar inaugurated the proposed statue on December 25 at Harobele village in Kanakapura, a predominantly Christian locality. The title deed of the 10-acres land was handed over to a trust.
Shivakumar's office claimed the statue, set atop a 13-foot pedestal, will be the tallest Christ monolith in the world.
Responding to Hegde’s comments, Shivakumar said, "These are people who love me. I had visited the place two years ago when they told me about such a proposal. I asked them to hold it as it was government land. I have bought this land with my own money.”
"I have also built hundreds of temples. In my constituency, there are people of all faiths. I respect all of them, believe in communal harmony and secularism," he said.
However, state Revenue Minister R Ashoka said the land is not owned by Shivakumar and is a government 'gomala' land (pasture land for community use).
"It is not Shivakumar's property, it is government gomala land, I don't know in what sense he (Shivakumar) has said he has purchased and given it," said Ashoka. "No one can donate it to any one. I have sought a report from the District Deputy Commissioner of Ramanagara."
Criticising the Congress, Karnataka Rural Development Minister KS Eshwarappa said the opposition party leaders who opposed the construction of a temple for Ram, who was born in India, were ready to fund the construction of a statue of Jesus. However, Eshwarapppa wrongly mentioned that Christ was born in the Vatican, instead of Bethlehem.
"Even Siddaramaiah cannot stop him (Shivakumar) from becoming the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president now," he added.
Shivakumar is considered one of the front-runners for the post of KPCC chief that was vacated by Dinesh Gundu Rao, considered Siddaramaiah's confidant, after the party's rout in the December 5 assembly bypolls.
(With inputs from PTI)
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