Nation Politics 26 Oct 2017 Story behind the sto ...

Story behind the story of a controversial President speech

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | BHASKAR HEGDE
Published Oct 26, 2017, 6:16 am IST
Updated Oct 26, 2017, 6:16 am IST
The very mention of Tipu by the President unnerved the opposition BJP.
H.D. Kumaraswamy and K.S. Eshwarappa during the President’s address
 H.D. Kumaraswamy and K.S. Eshwarappa during the President’s address

Bengaluru: There seems to be more than what meets the eye in President Ram Nath Kovind eulogising Tipu Sultan during his address to the legislature. 

The very mention of Tipu by the President unnerved the opposition BJP. It was surprising how the controversial issue found mention in the speech.

 

Sources in the legislature told Deccan Chronicle that the part on Tipu  was either mentioned in the final draft of the speech prepared in New Delhi or was incorporated on Tuesday night at Raj Bhavan after representatives of the state government successfully   prevailed upon the President.

Nearly a week back, the President's office had approached the in-charge secretary of the  assembly, S. Murthy requesting him to prepare a draft and send it to Delhi. Mr Murthy had approached Legislative Council chairman D.H. Shankaramurthy with a request for preparing a speech.  Mr Shankaramurthy did engage a senior journalist to prepare a speech which was sent directly to the President's office. Sources said the draft prepared by the journalist engaged by Mr Shankaramurthy highlighted Karnataka's contribution to the freedom movement, the story of Vidhana Soudha and history of the state legislature.

 

Meanwhile, the assembly secretariat had discussed the issue with a senior officer from the CM secretariat who prepared a separate draft and sent it to Delhi. Sources said the draft prepared by the CM office had mentioned the rich cultural heritage of Karnataka including Tipu Sultan. Interestingly after BJP leaders claimed the CM office prepared the draft, Mr Siddaramaiah had denied the allegation wondering how  the CM could influence the President.

After the President's speech became controversial, the legislature and CM's office tried to give an impression that the speech draft was written by C.M. Ramachandra. When contacted, Mr Ramachandra said he was contacted by the assembly secretariat to write speech points a week back. "But I was busy, I did not go. Thereafter nobody came to me. So I did not write anything for the Prez," Mr Ramachandra clarified. 

 

The CM's office and assembly secretariat together prepared the draft and sent it to Delhi which the President chose. Meanwhile, the journalist engaged by Shankaramurthy told Deccan Chronicle that he was contacted by a senior official from Delhi who praised the draft prepared for the President. If his draft was good then why did the President's office go by the state govt draft? The President might have thought the draft prepared by state officials might be more authentic than  the one by a journalist, so3wurces added. 

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Location: India, Karnataka, Bengaluru




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