Nearly 1,000 members of Hindu organisations held 'Kanakapura Chalo' protest rally on Monday, January 13 in Karnataka's Kanakapura town against the construction of a Jesus Christ statue proposed by Former Karnataka Minister and Congress MLA DK Shivakumar. Shivakumar is the MLA of Kanakapura constituency.

Christ Statue
Protest against the proposal of Christ statue in Kanakapura, Karnataka.

Members of BJP, RSS, Vishva Hindu Parishad and Hindu Jagaran Vedike took to the streets against the construction of 114-ft tall Jesus Christ statue to be erected in Kanakapura in Ramanagara district. Harobele in Kanakapura, where the statue will be installed, is a village dominated by Christians in Shivakumar's constituency. The community is said to have lived there for about 400 years.

'Decision of Christian community, not mine: DK Shivakumar

Karnataka Congress leader DK Shivakumar.Twitter/ANI

Former Karnataka Minister and Congress MLA from Kanakapura DK Shivakumar on Monday said that the decision to construct a 114-ft tall Jesus Christ statue in his constituency was not his but that of the villagers.

It is not my decision but that of villagers of the Christian community, being MLA I have to help. The land was given for it, everything is legal. - DK Shivakumar, Congress MLA, Kanakapura

"I have been their legislator for the past 30 years, I have to support them. They are simple people, we have to support them. Let hundreds of RSS and BJP leaders come and shout and go, we are least bothered. I have gifted similar lands to Hindu organisations also in the past for building temples, community halls, schools and hospitals, as I believe in equality of all religions," said Shivakumar.

'Without state government's consent, Shivakumar gifted land to church' 

According to a BJP member, "Without the state government's consent, Shivakumar gifted the 10-acre land, meant for grazing, on December 25 to a church trust for constructing a 100-ft Jesus statue on a 13-ft pedestal in the nearby Herobele village." 

Christ statue protest
Karnataka: Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, Vishva Hindu Parishad, & Hindu Jagaran Vedike protest against the construction of 114-ft tall Jesus Christ statue in Kanakapura.

State Revenue Minister R. Ashoka transferred Kanakapura tahsildar Anandaiah on December 30 for facilitating the land transfer to the church trust without Deputy Commissioner's approval.

"Shivakumar is trying to please his party leader Sonia Gandhi for being appointed as the next Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president since its incumbent Dinesh Gundu Rao resigned on December 9 following party's debacle in the by-elections to 15 assembly seats, in which only two of its 15 candidates won," said a BJP leader. 

He added, "The statue project has been put on hold pending inquiry, as several local Hindu organisations raised objections as it was to come up near the sacred hill considered holy." 

'Shivakumar is playing petty politics': BJP MP Shobha Karandlaje

BJP MP Shobha Karandlaje
 BJP MP Shobha Karandlaje. ANI

Slamming Congress leader DK Shivakumar for sponsoring a 114-foot statue of Jesus Christ in his constituency, BJP MP Shobha Karandlaje on Monday said the Shivakumar is playing petty politics.

Shivakumar is doing all these to please party leader Sonia Gandhi for his own personal gains and he is playing petty politics and humiliating majorities. Since centuries, Kapali hills is claimed to be a Hindu hill and it belongs to Hindus. -BJP MP Shobha Karandlaje

The Christ statue controversy 

Congress MLA DK Shivakumar had laid the foundation stone for a statue of Jesus Christ in Harobele village of Ramanagara district on December 25, 2019. He also had got 10 acres of land sanctioned by the state government for it.

The title deeds and other documents have been handed over to the trust assigned with the task of construction of the statue. The statue will be 114 feet tall, including the pedestal. It will be constructed using hard granite.

We don't want a statue of Jesus Christ. But instead, we can erect a statue of Pejawar Swami or Basaveshwara Swami or Balagangadhara Swami, or someone else who has worked for this nation. Hindus have only one nation - India. - Pro-Hindu oraganisations

Kanakapura, about 40km southwest of Bengaluru towards Mysuru, is the assembly constituency of Shivakumar and a part of the Lok Sabha constituency of his brother DK Suresh Kumar of the Congress.  

(With inputs from wires)