The Bharatiya Janata Party’s Karnataka unit chief BS Yeddyurappa on Monday alleged that the Janata Dal (Secular) was responsible for stoking the demand for a separate North Karnataka state to strengthen its base in southern parts of the state.
“The Janata Dal (Secular) knows it cannot win elections and taste power, if the state is united, as it has a presence only in some pockets of South Karnataka,” the former chief minister said, according to PTI. Yeddyurappa said he would visit Belagavi on Tuesday to request some outfits to give up their demand for a separate state.
“[JD(S) chief] Deve Gowda is conspiring to strengthen JD(S) by dividing Karnataka,” he said, according to The New Indian Express. “People of the state will neither accept this nor tolerate this. Going by the recent statements made by Chief Minister [HD Kumaraswamy], it looks like that he is conspiring to divide Karnataka.”
On Saturday, Yeddyurappa had said dividing the state was “not a solution for development”.
“Our aim was to develop the state,” Yeddyurappa had said. “We built [the] Vikasa Soudha and initiated several development works but, for the sake of power, you [Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy] and your family are trying to destroy the state.”
However, Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy on Monday condemned the demand for a separate state of North Karnataka and blamed the media for encouraging the demands. “My media friends, you are responsible for lighting the fire for protests in North Karnataka with all the discussions on channels,” The News Minute quoted him as saying.
Meanwhile, the Separate State Agitation Committee said it will unveil a flag for the northern Karnataka region in Belagavi city on Tuesday, pressing its demand for the region’s 13 districts to be carved out into a new state.
“For decades we have faced the apathy of governments concerned only with the development of southern Karnataka and have ignored this region,” said president of the umbrella outfit Uttara Horata Samiti Somashekar Kotambari. “To send out a message that this is a committed agitation, we will unveil a North Karnataka flag,” he said, according to Hindustan Times.
The committee has expressed dissatisfaction with the “negligible funds” allocated to northern Karnataka in the current budget, and complained of “step-motherly treatment”. They also said a majority of leaders in the state Cabinet are from the southern districts.
The Uttara Horata Samiti has also called for a shutdown on August 2 to press for their demand for a separate state.