The political war of words has again started between the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress in Karnataka after Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa laid the foundation stone for the 'New Anubhava Mantapa' in Basavakalyan. Notably, Basavakalyan is the same place where 12th-century poet-philosopher Basaveshwara spent the majority of his life. Yediyurappa further said, the completion of the 500-crore project on a 7.5-acre area will be within two years and said Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate it.
Calling the development nothing but 'a gimmick', KPCC working President Eshwar Khandre added that Anubhava Mantapa was a Congress brainchild.
"The present government took this to cabinet 15 months back and so far not a single rupee has been released for it. We welcome it and suggest that it should be an international center. The BJP is acting on it now keeping in mind the bypolls in Basavakalyan, for which dates are likely to be announced in eight to ten days. The BJP move is nothing but a gimmick," the New Indian Express quoted the Congress leader as saying.
The structure will come up in 3.5 acres of land in the Hoysala style of architecture and is expected to cost Rs 500 crore. Moreover, the structure will have six floors, each with a different theme on each level. There will be a mega auditorium with 770 seats. And the whole system is going to have 770 pillars as well. It is believed that in Anubhava Mantapa there were 770 Sharanas, Basavanna's followers.
Misappropriation of public money in COVID-19 times?
Soon after the foundation ceremony, the project has come under severe criticism due to its huge cost that too during COVID-19 times. The state exchequer is already under severe stress thanks to COVID-19 related lockdown. The additional Rs 500 crore for the project will add up the additional burden on the finance department. Political observers are of the argument that Mantapa is being constructed to woo lingayat community in Karnataka.