Controversy Erupts: Kerala BJP Chief's Proposal to Rename Sulthan Bathery
Controversy Erupts: Kerala BJP Chief's Proposal to Rename Sulthan Bathery

Kochi: Kerala BJP chief K Surendran, who is contesting from Wayanad, sparked controversy by expressing his intention to rename Sulthan Bathery town to Ganapathy Vattam if elected from the constituency. The town's association with Mysore ruler Tipu Sultan adds to the controversy.

Surendran, pitted against incumbent Congress MP Rahul Gandhi in Wayanad, alleged that Tipu Sultan had forcefully converted numerous Hindus in Kerala, particularly in Wayanad. He questioned Tipu Sultan's relevance to Wayanad and emphasized the town's earlier name as Ganapathi Vattom.

The BJP has consistently criticized Tipu Sultan, portraying him as a divisive figure responsible for temple demolitions. The party had previously opposed the observance of Tipu Jayanti in Karnataka.

Surendran's remarks drew sharp criticism from the Left and the Congress. Indian Union Muslim League's PK Kunhalikutty dismissed the possibility of such a name change in Kerala, emphasizing the state's distinct character. Congress leader T Siddique dismissed Surendran's statement as a mere publicity stunt.

Sulthan Bathery, one of Wayanad's municipal towns, was originally known as Ganapathi Vattom, named after a Ganesha temple built during the Vijaynagar period. However, Tipu Sultan's invasion in 1700 led to the renaming of the town. Tipu Sultan's dumping of ammunition in Ganapathi Vattom resulted in the town being referred to as 'Sultan's Battery' in British records. Tipu Sultan also constructed a fort in the town, which now lies in ruins.

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