The decision of the B S Yediyurappa-led BJP government in Karnataka to name a new flyover in Yelhanka, Bangalore in honour of V D Savarkar has been opposed by the two chief opposition parties in the state– Congress and Janata Dal (Secular). The newly-built flyover will be inaugurated by Chief Minister Yediyurappa on Thursday, which is the 137th birth anniversary of Veer Savarkar.

Senior Congress leader and leader of opposition in the Assembly, Siddaramaiah questioned the state government’s move to name the flyover in honour of Savarkar saying, “This is an insult to the freedom fighters of the state. The government should immediately drop this idea and this should be named in the honour of a freedom fighter from the state. This incident only shows that puppet masters behind the scenes are controlling the government rather than an elected government taking decisions. If the government genuinely wants the cooperation of opposition parties, it should drop such anti-people moves.”

Former chief minister and JDS leader H D Kumaraswamy also opposed the state government’s move to name the flyover in Savarkar’s name. “There are several freedom fighters from the state who fought for our independence. There are several who contributed to the state’s development even after independence. They could have named the flyover in the honour of any one of them? Do other states honour our freedom fighters? I request the government to reverse its current decision.”

However, BJP spokesperson S Prakash said that the state had taken the decision after much consideration. Accusing the Congress of never honouring anybody outside the Nehru-Gandhi family he said, “Why Indira canteens? Why Rajiv Gandhi hospital? Savarkar is a giant amongst our freedom fighters. It is only a token of respect for such a great soul who sacrificed for the country.”

The flyover has been built at an estimated cost of Rs 34 crore and measures about 400 metres in length. State government officials said that Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) under which the flyover comes has also passed a resolution approving the naming of the flyover in honour of Savarkar. They said the CM will go ahead in inaugurating the same in spite of the protests by opposition parties.

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