Guntur: The iconic Jinnah Tower here was painted in the national tricolours. The tower which is a city landmark has long been mired in controversy over being named in the honour of Mohammad Ali Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan.
In an apparent bid to quell the attempts to raise the communal pitch, the Guntur Municipal Corporation on Tuesday painted the structure in the colours of the Indian flag and erected an iron fencing around the structure.
There have been repeated demands by Hindu organisations and the BJP to rename the tower or demolish it.
The latest such attempt was made this year on January 26, Republic Day, when a group of people tried to storm the tower and unfurl the national flag atop it. The state unit of the BJP had submitted a memorandum to demand that the tower be renamed in honour of former president A.P.J. Abdul Kalam.
GMC Mayor Kavati Manohar Naidu said that the tower is a symbol of the freedom movement and that is the reason for painting it in the tricolours. He recalled that a resolution to rename the tower was rejected by the GMC in 1966.
The Guntur East MLA Mohammed Musthafa said that the move to paint the tower in the national colours was made following requests from several groups. He said arrangements have also been made for hoisting the national flag in the tower’s vicinity.