Protest against imminent unveiling of Tamil saint-poet Thiruvalluvar in Karnataka

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Bangalore, Aug 8 (ANI): A group of pro-Kannada organizations here took to the streets to protest against the scheduled unveiling of a statue of Tamil saint-poet Thiruvalluvar on August 9 in the city.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi will unveil the statue.

Under the banner of the Karnataka Rakshna Vedike and the Kannada Chaluvali Vatal Paksha, these demonstrators staged the protest.

"The Chief Minister is misleading five crores Kannadigas. He says that this government is of Kannadigas while he himself is taking an initiative in establishing the statue of a Tamilian poet. State Chief Minister Yeddyurappa should immediately cancel this programme," said Narayan Gowda, Karnataka Rakshna Vedike.

Scores of these demonstrators raised slogans against the present government of Karnataka.

The statue of Thiruvalluvar, regarded as one of the greatest philosophical thinkers of Tamil Nadu, is proposed to be unveiled near the Ulsoor Lake.

"For the last 18 years, the people of Karnataka have been against the unveiling of the statue. But the Chief Minister himself went to Tamil Nadu to facilitate the unveiling of the statue. He has become an agent of Karunanidhi," said Vatal Nagraj, founder of Kannada Chaluvali Vatal Paksha.

Earlier in the week, Yeddyurappa presided over an all-party meeting to arrive at a consensus on the unveiling of a statue.

He had invited the local heads of all political parties, leaders of opposition in both houses of the state legislature, intellectuals, writers and even pro-Kannada activists. And at the meeting, all had decided unanimously to go ahead with the unveiling of Thiruvallar's statue.

This statue after sculpting was placed in the vicinity of Ulsoor in 1991 but remained covered since then. statue of Kannada poet named Sarvajna will also be unveiled at Chennai on August 13 but the fanatic pro-Kannada fora in Karnataka have objected to the location of the Sarvajna's statue.

They are also demanding that the Tamil Nadu Government withdraw its petition against the granting of classical language status to Kannada, and to stop all construction work of the disputed project at Hogenakal across River Cauvery. (ANI)

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