A government notification stating that the Staff Selection Commission’s Combined Graduate Level examination would be conducted only in English or Hindi is against the democratic spirit, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam leader Kanimozhi said on Thursday.

The exam, meant to fill up 20,000 vacancies in various Central government departments, is tentatively scheduled to be conducted in December.

“I strongly oppose the Union government’s announcement that only English and Hindi will be used in CGL examinations administered by the Staff Selection Commission for Union Government departmental positions,” Kanimozhi said in a tweet. “The Indian Union’s sovereignty is rooted in its pluralism.”

Former Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy on Friday also opposed the notification, saying the Centre is discriminating against regional languages.

“If this isn’t an example of Hindi imposition, then what is?” the Janata Dal (Secular) leader asked in a tweet.

He also alleged that the move to not conduct the exam in regional languages was an attempt by the Bharatiya Janata Party “to make inroads for Hindi in South India”, India Today reported.

“BJP is adamant that they want to bring down regional languages,” Kumaraswamy wrote. “They want to build a tomb with a three-language policy.”

However, Karnataka Bharatiya Janata Party leader CT Ravi said the examinations administered by the Staff Selection Commission have been conducted in English and Hindi since 1975, India Today reported.

“We were not in power then,” he added. “In 1996, [HD] Devegowda was the PM. The same was done then too. It’s not new today. No need for controversy.”

BJP leader BC Nagesh accused Kumaraswamy of being involved in the language debate because of elections.

“If the BJP had stopped the Kannada language, which was there earlier, then you could say BJP is stopping the usage of Kannada,” he said. “That’s not the case. So it’s only because of elections he’s speaking.”