Karnataka Minister Priyank Kharge

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Belagavi, Dec 8 – Karnataka Minister Priyank Kharge raised a stink with his personal advocacy to remove the portrait of Hindutva ideologue Veer Savarkar from the state assembly as his ideology promotes hatred and division.

“Any person’s ideology incites hatred and creates division should not be there in the assembly, if BJP finds it problematic, then it is their issue,” Priyank told reporters.

The rumour of removing Savarkar’s portrait sparked after Karnataka Speaker UT Khader revealed that talks were in progress about installing Jawaharlal Nehru’s portrait in the assembly chamber.

However, Khader said that there is no such proposal to remove Savarkar’s portrait on the sidelines of the ongoing winter session. “I am unaware of the issue. There is no such proposal,” he said, in response to the rumours of removing Savarakr’s portrait and replacing it with Jawaharlal Nehru’s.

Asked what he would do if such a proposal is tabled before him, Khader said, “Let it first come.”

During the previous BJP rule, Savarkar’s portrait was installed in the assembly along with numerous national leaders including Swami Vivekananda, Subash Chandra Bose, BR Ambedkar, Basaveshwara, Mahatma Gandhi.

The Congress and Siddaramaiah had staged a protest against the perceived one-sided decisions of the then- ruling BJP government during the unveiling ceremony of Savarkar’s portrait at Suvarna Soudha.

The protest was not targeted at any single portrait, but to include the display of portraits of other national leaders and social reformers, Siddaramaiah had argued.