K.S. Eshwarappa, Minister of Rural Development and Panchayat Raj, said on Wednesday that the saffron flag might eventually replace the tricolor at Red Fort. He did say, however, that the tricolour is the national flag and that everyone should respect it. Anyone who does not respect the national flag, according to the minister, is a traitor.
In response to reporters’ questioning about the controversy surrounding the hoisting of the saffron flag from a flagpost in Shivamogga, he stated that the saffron flag may become the national flag “a hundred or five hundred years from now.” After all, it was the saffron flag that floated atop Rama and Hanumantha’s chariots, he claimed. “We will raise the saffron flag today or tomorrow when the Hindu dharma arrives, but the tricolor is currently the national flag, and we respect it.”, he added.
During an anti-hijab rally at the Government First Grade College in Shivamogga on Tuesday, Congress President DK Shivakumar alleged that students raised the saffron flag instead of the tricolour. Eshwarappa called Shivakumar’s statements fake and an attempt to incite communal hatred.
Shivakumar, he claimed, is a liar. Although the saffron flag was hoisted, the national flag was not lowered. The saffron flag can be flown everywhere, but not while the national flag is lowered; this has never happened and will never happen. Only the flag was flown; the national flag was not removed. The national flag was not lowered to raise the saffron flag, according to Shivamogga College administrators and the police.
In the ongoing hijab controversy, the restriction on hijabs, according to Eshwarappa, only applied to educational establishments that need uniforms, and that people may wear whatever they wanted elsewhere. He also reacted to charges that BJP leaders were giving away saffron scarves to students, claiming that he was free to do so and that he did not require Shivakumar’s permission.