The situation in Karnataka's Keragodu village of Mandya district became tense after the police force brought down the Hanuman flag hoisted by the Gram Panchayat Board on a 108-foot flagpole on Sunday (28 January).
Protesting against it, the BJP's Karnataka unit, along with its new ally Janata Dal (Secular) [JD(S)], launched a padayatra (foot march) today. However, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah accused the BJP of politicising the issue.
After the flag was brought down, the CM said, "It is not right to fly the saffron flag instead of the national flag. They should have hoisted the national flag."
Section 144 has been imposed in the village, which prohibits the gathering of more than four people.
Notably, the permission for the installation of the flagpole was granted by the village panchayat. However, when complaints were filed against it, officials asked for the removal of the Hanuman flag.
According to the District In-charge Minister N Cheluvarayaswamy, the flagpole's location falls under the panchayat's jurisdiction, and permission was initially granted for hoisting the national flag on Republic Day.
Nishtha Anushree is Senior Sub-editor at Swarajya. She tweets at @nishthaanushree.
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