Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Kushwaha slams K’taka’s minister for tricolour remark

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s key political aide Upendra Kushwaha, who has been rankling the ally BJP over alleged denigration of Emperor Asoka, on Friday found fresh ammunition in a controversial statement by a Karnataka minister.
The JD(U) parliamentary board chief latched on to reports of K S Eshwarappa, a minister in the BJP-ruled southern state, having said that the tricolour may be replaced by a saffron flag sometime in the future.
“First Emperor Asoka was insulted. Now a campaign seems to be on against the tricolour. How can India tolerate this?” Kushwaha, a former Union minister, tweeted in Hindi.
Tagging Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Karnataka Chief Minister B S Bommai, Kushwaha also asked for prompt action against the minister, calling him a “deshdrohi” (anti-national).
“… sometime in the future, after 100 or 200 or 500 years, Bhagwa dhwaj (saffron flag) may become the national flag,” the rural development minister of Karnataka said on Wednesday. He, however, added the tricolour is the national flag now, and it should be respected by everyone.
Earlier, Kushwaha sought action against Sahitya Akademi Award winning playwright Daya Prakash Sinha for likening Asoka the Great to Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb.
In a recent interview, Sinha expressed the view that Asoka was very much like Aurangzeb, as both rose to power after fratricide and projected an image of piety to appear respectable. The JD(U), which draws its support base from Koeris and Kurmis, had mounted an offensive on the issue.
The Maurya dynasty was founded by Chandragupta Maurya, Asoka’s grandfather, who is an OBC icon.
Kushwaha last month asked ally BJP to take action against Sinha. Later, the saffron party’s state president Sanjay Jaiswal lodged an FIR here accusing Sinha, who is also a Padma Shri recipient, of denigrating Asoka and spreading “incorrect information” that he was the national convenor of the BJP cultural cell.
Kushwaha last year merged his Rashtriya Lok Samata Party with the JD(U), controlled by Kumar who shares power with the BJP.
Kushwaha’s aggressive stance on various issues is viewed with much dismay by the Bihar BJP which still finds itself under the shadow of the chief minister whose party’s strength in the assembly has dwindled.