Bangalore(DHNS): Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and a host of senior Congress leaders were on Thursday made to listen to an unscheduled speech by a Sangh Parivar ideologue on the greatness of Mahatma Gandhi.
During the event organised to unveil the statue of Mahatma Gandhi on the Vidhana Soudha-Vikasa Soudha premises, Sulibele Chakravarthi was invited by the compere to deliver a talk on Gandhi.
The speaker, vice president of Samskara Bharati, an offshoot of the RSS, narrated certain incidents in Gandhi’s life and recalled his quotes.
The speaker went extempore in Kannada for about 10 minutes. Once he completed the talk, he was presented with a bouquet.
Later, he left the venue. As per the invitation printed by the government, there was no mention of the talk by Chakravarthi.
When he was invited to speak, none of the dignitaries on the dais, including the chief minister and former chief minister Veerappa Moily expressed surprise.
Later, at a Gandhi Jayanti programme at the Congress head office, Moily raised objection to the Hindutva proponent speaking at the government programme in which the chief minister was the chief guest.
In his response, Siddaramaiah said that he was unaware of the talk by Chakravarthi.
“It is an unfortunate incident. It was a mistake. We were made to listen to a person who belongs to an organisation which killed Gandhi. The event was organised by D H Shankaramurthy, who also belongs to RSS.
The government itself should have organised the programme. Some of my colleagues told me the background of the person who delivered the talk. I am told he belongs to RSS and NaMo brigade. We will ensure that such a mistake does not recur.”
When contacted by this paper, Shankaramurthy, the Legislative Council chairman, said that it was the decision of a committee to invite Chakravarthi. Netizens have been debating the incident. Some have interpreted it as a security lapse to allow a person to suddenly come on the stage and speak.