Karnataka govt defers decision to name Bengaluru flyover after Savarkar

Congress and JDS had strongly opposed the decision

savarkar Veer Savarkar | Painting by Bineesh Sreedharan

A decision to name a flyover here after freedom fighter and Hindutva ideologue Veer Savarkar by the BJP-ruled city civic body and inagurate it on Thursday was put on hold amid opposition to the move by Congress and JDS.

Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa was supposed to inaugurate the flyover on Thursday, which was built at a cost of Rs 34 crore, coinciding with the birth anniversary of Savarkar, but the decision was deferred.

A close aide of the chief minister attributed it to COVID-19 lockdown and non-issuance of gazette notification by the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike  (BBMP), but asserted that the decision would be implemented next month.

Opposition Congress and the JD(S) had objected to the decision to name the flyover at Yelahanka in the city after Veer Savarkar and had termed it as an insult to freedom fighters of the state and demanded that it be dropped.

Political Secretary to the Chief Minister and Yelahanka MLA S R Vishwanath claimed the inauguration has been deferred for two reasons -- one was the lockdown due to COVID-19 and the other because the BBMP, the civic agency, did not bring out the necessary gazette notification.

"Naming of flyover has been put on hold temporarily but will take place in June," he told PTI.

Vishwanath said the gazette notification will take place in June and "No force will stop the naming of flyover after Veer Savarkar."

Deputy Chief Minister Dr C N Ashwath Narayan condemned the opposition to naming the flyover after Savarkar.

The opposition to naming the flyover just because he (Savarkar) did not belong to Karnataka was not appropriate.

"There are names dominating everywhere in Karnataka who do not belong to the state. It is wrong to oppose the naming of flyover after Savarkar, who had sacrificed so much for the nation and was tortured physically. His daredevilry is difficult to comprehend," he said.

Leader of the Opposition in the assembly and former chief minister Siddaramaiah on Wednesday claimed the move was an insult to freedom fighters from Karnataka and urged Yediyurappa to name it after someone from the state who took part in the independence movement.

"The hasty decision to name Yelahanka flyover after Savarkar is an evidence to say that the administration is not run by an elected government, but by those behind the screen.

Chief Minister are you seeking opposition cooperation for such anti-people decisions?" he had tweeted.

Yediyurappa's predecessor and JD(S) leader H D Kumaraswamy also opposed the decision, saying it was an insult to those who fought for the prosperity of the state.

The Congress and other opposition parties had earlier vehemently opposed the move to bestow Bharat Ratna on Savarkar, posthumously.