‘Unhappy’ Congress high command asks Karnataka CM to clarify flag row
New Delhi :The Congress high command is “unhappy” over the Karnataka Government’s decision to constitute a separate committee for designing a state flag and has asked Chief Minister Siddaramaiah to come up with a clarification to end the controversy.
With the opposition parties targeting the Congress for what they charged flaring up separatists mindset among the public, the party top brass wanted to put an end the controversy.
“The Congress does not have a policy for a state having a separate flag. I have asked the government to clarify the issue,” K C Venugopal, AICC General Secretary in-charge of Karnataka told DH. He also said that the country has only one flag and that is the national flag.
Congress senior leader and Rajya Sabha MP Renuka Chaudhury also said one country should have one flag. “I don’t know what is the reason for Karnataka to have a separate flag, she commented.
Sanjay Raut, the Shiv Sena spokesperson, demanded the dismissal of the state government. “The Congress ruled government in Karnataka is triggering separatism in the state” he said demanding the imposition of presidential rule immediately.
The Karnataka government has formed a nine-member committee to submit a report on designing a separate flag for the state and providing a legal standing for it. Chief Minister Siddaramaiah defended his government’s move on the grounds that constitution does not bar states from having its own flag.
State Congress sources said that the party was trying to build a narrative on Kannada pride to counter BJP’s Hindutva agenda ahead of next year’s assembly elections.
The committee, headed by the principal secretary, Department of Kannada and Culture, was set up last month after a representation from noted Kannada writer and journalist Patil Puttappa, and social worker Bheemappa Gundappa Gadada.
Puttappa and Gadada in their representation had requested the government to design a separate flag for ‘Kannada Naadu’ and accord it legal standing.