Bengaluru: Karnataka joined the nation on the 151st birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi on Friday in a simple manner due to Covid-induced restrictions on large gatherings or functions in public.
Governor Vajubhai Vala, Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa, opposition Congress leader Siddaramaiah, Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president D.K. Shivakumar and others paid floral tributes to the Father of the Nation and recalled his service and sacrifice in freeing the country from British Raj.
Vala garlanded Gandhi’s statue installed years ago on the sprawling Raj Bhavan lawns in the city centre and paid tributes to him.
“Yediyurappa also garlanded the statue of Gandhi and paid homage to him at Vidhana Soudha (state secretariat) in the city centre,” an official said here.
In a tweet in Kannada, Yediyurappa urged the people to celebrate Gandhi’s triumph over the British, marking the country’s independence from colonial rule on August 15, 1947.
“Many of our government programmes are inspired by Gandhiji’s thoughts on Sarvodaya, poverty alleviation, welfare of the downtrodden, farmers, promotion of cottage industries and environment conservation,” said Yediyurappa.
The Chief Minister also garlanded the statue of former Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri at Soudha and recalled his services to the nation. Shastri’s birth anniversary also falls on October 2.
State cabinet ministers, legislators and ruling BJP leaders and cadres were present on the occasion, wearing masks and observing physical distancing.
Remembering Shastri for his honest and value-based leadership as the Prime Minister, Yediyurappa said the former gave the country “Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan’ slogan, underscoring the priorities. He worked towards making agriculture and food production self-sustainable.
“Let us pay our respects to Shastriji on his birth anniversary. He was the embodiment of honesty and patriotism. His valuable public life, doctrine and achievements were exemplary,” said Yediyurappa.
Former state Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and Janata Dal (Secular) leader H.D. Kumaraswamy also paid homage to the Mahatma and Shastri.
The Congress organised a programme at its party office in the city centre where the party’s Rajya Sabha member Mallikarjun Kharge, former Union minister K.H. Muniyappa, party leader Ramalinga Reddy and scores of others were present.
The ruling BJP and JD-S also organised events to pay tribute to Gandhi and Shastri.
“Happy birthday to Mahatma Gandhi, who demonstrated the power of non-violence in liberating India from the colonial rulers. Tributes to Shastri who led a simple life and protected the country in the 1965 war with Pakistan,” said Kumaraswamy in Kannada.