In what may provide enough fodder to the BJP to attack the Congress over nationalism and national security, Congress leader Shashi Tharoor has showered praise on Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan for his “genuine and far-reaching interest” in Indian history, saying that it was “disappointing” that it took a Pakistani leader to remember Tipu Sultan.
On May 4, Khan had paid tribute to Tipu Sultan, praising the 18th century ruler of Mysore for preferring to die for freedom rather than "live a life of enslavement".
“Today 4th May is the death anniversary of Tipu Sultan - a man I admire because he preferred freedom and died fighting for it rather than live a life of enslavement,” the Pakistan PM had tweeted.
Responding to his tweet, Tharoor tweeted: “One thing i personally know about @imranKhanPTI is that his interest in the shared history of the Indian subcontinent is genuine & far-reaching. He read; he cares. It is disappointing, though, that it took a Pakistani leader to remember a great Indian hero on his punyathithi.”
One thing i personally know about @imranKhanPTI is that his interest in the shared history of the Indian subcontinent is genuine & far-reaching. He read; he cares. It is disappointing, though, that it took a Pakistani leader to remember a great Indian hero on his punyathithi. https://t.co/kWIySEQcJM— Shashi Tharoor (@ShashiTharoor) May 6, 2019
Khan’s tweet trigerred a war of words between senior Congress leader Siddaramaiah and BJP's Rajeev Chandrasekhar on Sunday, with the former saying he was not the one to "eat biryani" with the premier of an enemy country.
Retweeting Khan's message, BJP MP Chandrasekhar wrote, "Dear @siddaramaiah avare - time for u (you) to hug Imranji n (and) Bajwaji - @sherryontopp! Thts (That's) quickest way to bcm (become) @RahulGandhi n (and) @priyankagandhi's favourite! #JustDoIt."
His jibe was aimed at Siddaramaiah's reverence for Tipu Sultan. The Congress leader had started the tradition of celebrating Tipu Jayanti as then chief minister of Karnataka three years ago.
Slamming Chandrasekhar, Siddaramaiah tweeted, "Mr @rajeev_mp, Think before you tweet. I am not like your Chor @narendramodi to eat biryani with the PM of our enemy country & also not like you to compromise on ethics to please your bosses.
"It is better to lead a life of Tipu Sultan than like a slave of your bosses like you."
The Congress leader's attack was in reference to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's surprise visit to Nawaz Sharif, the then prime minister of Pakistan, in Lahore in 2017.
Opposing Tipu Jayanti, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has held protests.
The saffron party has been accusing the Congress of ignoring the "genocide" carried out by the erstwhile ruler of Mysuru, including the killings of Kodavas in Kodagu district and Mandyam Iyengars of Melukote.