Foundation stones were laid on Friday for installing statues of Bengaluru founder Nadaprabhu Kempegowda and 12th century social reformer Basaveshwara in front of Vidhana Soudha, the seat of Karnataka legislature and secretariat here.
The foundation stones were laid by Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai in the presence of Legislative Assembly Speaker Vishweshwar Hegde Kageri, Legislative Council Chairman Basavaraj Horatti, former chief minister B S Yediyurappa, several ministers and legislators.
Seers of several prominent maths like Shivarathri Deshikendra Swamiji of Suttur math, Vishwaprasanna Teertha of Pejavara math, Nirmalanandanatha Mahaswamiji of Sri Adichunchanagiri Mahasamsthana math, Siddalinga Mahaswami of Siddaganga math among others were present.
”After deciding in the Cabinet to install the statues of both these luminaries, the responsibility was given to Revenue Minister R Ashoka to oversee, today we have laid the foundation in the presence of several religious leaders.
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”Our intention is that the administrative and spiritual thinking and values of these two personalities should flow across the state through this ‘Shakti Soudha’ (as Vidhana Soudha is also known),” Bommai said.
Their ideas should motivate those inside the Vidhana Soudha to build a ”New Karnataka” which is the government’s intention, he said adding that ”the work will begin today and will be completed in one-and-half to two months, we will unveil it by inviting all.” A sum of Rs 8 crore had been released for the installation of the statues, official sources said.
The Chief Minister called the personalities as ”great sons of the soil”, highlighting that Basaveshwara, also known as Basavanna and a champion of social justice and welfare, was the first to start the ”people’s parliament system” in the world through ‘Anubhava Mantapa’, much before the Magna Carta, while Kempegowda who built Bengaluru is known for providing ideal administration.
The Magna Carta is a 13th century charter of rights drafted in Europe which is known as the fountainhead of modern constitutional rule of law and liberty.
The installation of statues of these two luminaries is also seen with political significance, ahead of assembly polls by May, as Basaveshwara and Kempegowda are highly revered, especially by Lingayats and Vokkaligas, the two numerically- and politically-dominant communities in the state, respectively.
While Lingayats form the ruling BJP’s core vote base, Vokkaligas are dominant in the Old Mysuru region, where the saffron party is aiming to make inroads to gain absolute majority in the election.