What Narendra Modi said about Tipu Sultan today?

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NEW DELHI - The Congress celebrates “sultan jayanti” to get votes in Karnataka but doesn’t honour other leaders, said Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday in remarks seen as referring to Tipu Sultan, the ruler of the kingdom of Mysore who died fighting the British.

Modi was speaking at an election rally in Chitradurga when he accused the Congress of not honouring local heroine Onake Obavva, a woman who fought the forces of Hyder Ali, the father of Tipu Sultan.

“People of Chitradurga know about the bravery of great woman Onake Obavva who resisted the reign of the Sultans. I salute the valour of Onake Obavva. Look at the Congress, leaders whom they should remember and celebrate, they do not.

But, they are at the forefront of celebrating jayantis of sultans for vote bank politics. The Congress has insulted the people of Chitradurga,” he said.

Tipu Sultan, the former ruler of Mysore, evokes intense admiration. He is hailed as a freedom fighter for fighting the British, but his critics — the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Sangh Parivar -- say he killed Hindus and Christians during his expansion into the region in the late 1700s.

New Delhi