Last Updated: March 02, 2023, 13:33 IST
Unveiling the statue, CM Basavaraj Bommai launched a veiled attack on the opposition and said that they can only speak and never work for development. (Photo: Twitter)
Both Congress and the BJP are vying for Marathi votes in the Belagavi rural assembly segment, where the community accounts for the majority of voters
Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Thursday unveiled a 43 feet tall statue of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj atop the historical Rajhansgad fort in Belagavi.
The event had become a bone of contention between Congress MLA Lakshmi Hebbalkar and former BJP minister Ramesh Jarkiholi. Both Congress and the BJP are vying for the votes of the Marathi community in the Belagavi rural assembly segment, where the community accounts for the majority of voters.
Unveiling the statue, CM Basavaraj Bommai launched a veiled attack on the opposition and said that they can only speak and never work for development.
“Shivaji Maharaj’s name should remain immortal. In some party’s regimes, there can’t be any development work as they only know how to talk. If I had found this place before, I would have made it a big tourist place”, the CM said.
Congress MLA Hebbalkar boycotted the event as she wanted the statue to be unveiled by the AICC President Mallikarjun Kharge in the presence of Congress state leaders. However, leaving no stone unturned to defeat Hebbalkar in Belagavi rural constituency, Gokak MLA Ramesh Jarkiholi claimed that the Fort had been developed using government funds and so, as per the government protocol, it would be a government program.
Hebbalkar, a close aide of KPCC Chief D K Shivakumar on Wednesday lashed out at Jarkiholi. She asked what moral right does the BJP have to unveil the statue built by her? She also accused the party o making the event a BJP-centric programme to grab the credit.
Lashing out at Jarkiholi, she said, “He sold himself with Rs 100 crore to form the BJP government and today he accuses me of corruption. Dear Gokak MLA, let the corruption from my constituency be on one side. First clear those dues that your sugar factory is supposed to give to people of my constituency and then speak.
“You should feel ashamed to unveil the Shivaji statue built by me. You’re taking the state’s CM for unveiling, what rights do you have? What work have you done to unveil the statue?” she asked.
Rajhansgad Fort, 2,500 ft above the sea level, is a popular tourist spot in Belagavi which was used by Maratha warrior Shivaji Maharaj.
Lakshmi Hebbalkar and Ramesh Jarkiholi have been locking horns often to make this place more tourist-friendly to appease the Marathi voters.
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