New Delhi: Congress workers in Karnataka held a protest in Hubli on Wednesday against the Yediyurappa-led government’s decision to cancel Tipu Jayanti celebrations in the state.

Condemning the Karnataka government order to cancel the celebrations, Former Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah had on Tuesday said, “Tipu is a man of the minority community, BJP is against minorities in this country. They aren’t secular. I oppose it.” He added that Tipu Sultan is a historical man who fought against Britishers, so we had decided to celebrate him.

Notably, the birth anniversary of erstwhile Mysuru ruler Tipu Sultan was celebrated annually as Tipu Jayanti on November 10 across Karnataka. The celebrations began during the Congress-led Siddaramaiah government in the year 2015.

Congress leader Siddaramaiah further said, “I only started Tipu Jayanti celebrations. People of Karnataka had accepted it because Tipu was a man who fought against British rule. According to me, he was the first freedom fighter of this country.”

Yediyurappa government, on the other hand, considered the Tipu Jayanti celebrations as ‘controversial and communal’. According to BJP members, Tipu Sultan was a ‘religious bigot’ and ‘brutal killer’. Therefore, the BJP Karnataka on Tuesday tweeted, “Our Govt has cancelled observing controversial & communal Tippu Jayanti.”

Although Tipu Sultan was considered a controversial figure by BJP and Hindu organisations, some historians still consider Tipu Sultan as a modern, secular ruler for exhibiting his might to the Britishers.

In May 1799, Tipu Sultan was killed by the British forces as he was considered a major threat by the East India Company. This 18th-century ruler of Mysore died while defending his fort at Srirangapatna. In honour of Tipu Sultan, Tipu Jayanti was celebrated in Karnataka. However, the state has been rife with riots particularly from the BJP from 2015, ever since the celebrations began. The BJP had pressurised the JDS-Congress coalition government to put an end to the celebrations several times. One such riot in 2015 turned violent, resulting in the death of a man.