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Hindu outfit demands renaming of Tipu Express

The Hindu Janajagruti Samiti on Wednesday demanded that the Tipu Express running between Bengaluru and Mysuru be renamed after Krishnaraja Wodeyar and Sir M Visvesvaraya.

The outfit's members led by state convenor Mohan Gowda met ChiefMinister B S Yediyurappa and urged him to take steps for renaming the train.

The plea comes in the backdrop of the BJP government in Karnataka dropping the annual state celebration of Tipu Jayanti after Yediyurappa took over as the chief minister last month.

The samiti said renaming the train would be a tribute to Wodeyar and Visvesvaraya, who had contributed in spreading irrigation and electricity networks in the state.

The BJP government in Karnataka last month scrapped the birth anniversary celebrations of the controversial 18th century ruler of the erstwhile Mysore Kingdom, Tipu Sultan.

The government issued an order cancelling the "TipuJayanti" celebrations, initiated by the Siddaramaiah-led Congress government as an annual affair on November 10 in 2015.

The celebrations were continued by the Congress-JD(S)coalition government led by H D Kumaraswamy, which collapsed on July 23, losing a vote of confidence in the assembly, paving the way for the installation of the BJP ministry.

Kodagu district was marred by widespread protests and violence during the first official celebration in 2015, during which Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) worker Kuttappa had died.

BJP and right wing organisations have been stronglyopposing, Tipu Jayanti, calling the erstwhile Mysore king a "religious bigot".