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Mysuru BJP MP and MLA on collision course over domed bus shelter

A day after Mysore-Kodagu BJP MP Pratap Simha sparked controversy and set a four-day deadline for officials to remove “mosque-like” structures atop a bus stop in Mysuru’s No. 54 Ward and on Tuesday again reiterated his threat to deal with it with razing the ground, party MLA SA Ramdas, representing Krishnaraja constituency where the bus stop is located, indirectly hit the MP and clarified that the idea was to build a bus stop designed like the Mysore palace and not a structure inspired by any religion.

The MP is also said to be unconvinced by the placement of a kalasha (sacred pot) at the bus stop as a Hindu religious symbol and said on Tuesday his position remains unchanged regarding the domes at the bus stop.

“I have given clear instructions to officials to remove the domes immediately. Even with the ‘kalasha’ my position remains unchanged. There is a lot of difference between Indo-Saracenic architecture and Islamic architecture,” Simha said.

Ahead of the 2023 Karnataka parliamentary election, MLA Ramdas, who is eager to show his report to the people of his constituency, after seeing MP Simha’s position and the controversy, met with Chief Minister Basvaraj Bommai and discussed the whole issue. He also requested that the state government set up a committee of experts to review the draft and said he would have no objection if the panel proposed changes.

The BJP MLA also rejected all allegations that the contractor was Muslim and lodged a complaint with the Commissioner of Mysuru urging an investigation into all the fake news circulating on social media regarding the bus stop.

Congress leaders jumped at the chance to attack the BJP over the row of bus stops, accusing the party of trying to fuel polarization ahead of the elections.

“He (Simha) should not make such statements. History is what happened in the past and they (BJP) should not try to distort it. Where is it stated that a structure must have a certain shape? They are doing this for polarization,” said former CM Siddaramaiah.

“The Congress party works to build people’s hearts, but the BJP works to damage people’s hearts. Let them (BJP) continue to demolish, we will continue to build,” said another UT Khader congress leader.

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