Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Monday said the Speaker will decide, amid speculations that the life size portrait of Hindutva ideologue Vinayak Damodar Savarkar that was unveiled inside the Assembly chamber at the 'Suvarna Vidhana Soudha' here, along with several national icons, during the previous BJP government's regime, will be removed.
The unveiling of Savarkar's portrait in December, 2022, had drawn criticism from the then opposition -- Congress -- which had alleged that it was a unilateral decision, keeping them in the dark.
"It is left to the Speaker (to decide)," Siddaramaiah said on Monday in response to a question from reporters whether Savarkar's portrait will be removed.
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Speaker U T Khader on Sunday said the proposal to install the portrait of first Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru inside the Assembly chamber, will be discussed.
The portraits of Swami Vivekananda, Subash Chandra Bose, B R Ambedkar, Basaveshwara, Mahatma Gandhi, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, and Savarkar were unveiled by then Assembly Speaker Vishweshwar Hegde Kageri and then Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai, inside the Assembly chamber, just before the commencement of the 10-day winter session of the state legislature in this border district, last year.
The Congress led by Siddaramaiah, who was then the Leader of Opposition in the Assembly and party's state President D K Shivakumar staged a demonstration outside 'Suvarna Vidhana Soudha' holding pictures of several top national and state figures like Kuvempu, Narayana Guru, Shishunala Sharif, Nehru,and Babu Jagjivan Ram.
Stating that it is his party's demand that portraits of national leaders and social reformers should be installed in the Assembly and they are not protesting against any one portrait, Siddaramaiah had then said, without any discussions or consultation unilaterally decisions have been taken to install certain portraits inside the House.
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