Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Sunday said he announced the construction of a ‘majestic’ Ram temple at Ramadevara Betta in Ramanagara district near here, responding to the wishes of the people and not for any political reasons.
Requesting cooperation from everyone in this regard, he asserted that the temple will certainly come up there.
”I did not announce it keeping in mind Congress, JD(S) or BJP. There is a historical trace there, there is historic Ramadevara Betta (hill) there, there is an old Rama Mandira there for long, and it is the wish of the people that a new Rama Mandira should be constructed there,” Bommai said in response to a question.
Speaking to reporters here, Bommai said he responded to the wishes of the people and hoped that everyone will extend cooperation, and no one will oppose the project.
”If someone wants to oppose, let them. I won’t object, but Rama Mandira will certainly come up there,” he added.
Soon after the Chief Minister made the announcement in the budget on Friday, state Congress President D K Shivakumar had said, ”There is a small temple there already, what is there for them (ruling BJP) to construct now? Let them construct their party office there in Ramanagara first.” JD(S) leader H D Kumaraswamy had said, ”If they (BJP) had announced it three years ago when they came to power and contructed the temple, I would have appreciated it. Now, when election is around they have announced. It will remain in the budget book itself.” If a Ram temple is to be built, the ruling BJP cannot do it, he asserted, while claiming: ”I know who will form the next government, so I will have to do it.” Ramanagara, part of Vokkaliga-dominated Old Mysuru region, is not considered among the BJP’s strongholds. It is considered as a JD(S) bastion, where Congress is also strong.
While Ramanagara is the home district of Shivakumar, it is also the ‘karma bhoomi’ of Kumaraswamy. While the latter is MLA from the district’s Channapatna segment, his wife Anitha Kumaraswamy represents the neighbouring Ramanagara seat.
Kumaraswamy is seeking re-election from Channapatana, while his son Nikhil Kumaraswamy will be facing polls from Ramanagara.
Chief Minister Bommai also hit out at the Congress’ ‘Kivi Mele Hoova’ (flower on the ears) campaign against the state budget. ‘Flower on ears’ is a symbolic statement in Kannada, which means making someone a fool.
”Let them (Congress) keep flowers on their ears permanently. They used to keep flowers on the ears of the people till now, by not keeping up the promises they used to make during their budgets. Siddaramaiah (Congress leader and former CM) is a ‘maatu tappida maga’ (a son who did not keep up his words),” he said.
Targeting Siddaramaiah for not fulfilling the promises made during his budgets, the hief Minister said, ”He had promised to give 10 kg free rice, then he brought it down to four kg, and when election came, he made it 7 kg, cheating people. So, a situation will come for them (Congress) to keep the flowers permanently on their ears,” he added.
Opposition leader Siddaramaiah and other Congress leaders, including Shivakumar, came to the assembly with flowers on their ears alleging that the BJP government has ”cheated people and made them fools” by not fulfilling promises from the previous budget, and the promises made in the 2018 election manifesto. PTI