With Karnataka assembly polls barely few weeks away, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah took a historic step to unveil a separate flag for the state. The new flag, unveiled on Thursday, is also a tricolour with yellow, white and red and the state emblem in the middle.
Siddaramaiah said that since the state government had no power to decide on a separate flag for Karnataka, the matter will be sent to the Centre for approval.
“The state government had no power to announce its State flag. A proposal in this regard will be sent to the union government. We will urge the centre to approve the proposal and make an official announcement at the earliest,” Siddaramaiah was quoted as saying.
He later tweeted, “Today we took a historic decision to adopt a #KarnatakaStateFlag . I thank Kannada organizations, leading Kannada writers & intellectuals for gracefully agreeing with the design. We will now write to GoI to make the State Flag official. A long cherished dream is coming true.”
Today we took a historic decision to adopt a #KarnatakaStateFlag . I thank Kannada organizations, leading Kannada writers & intellectuals for gracefully agreeing with the design.
We will now write to GoI to make the State Flag official. A long cherished dream is coming true. https://t.co/TGRHfx1Qq2
— Siddaramaiah (@siddaramaiah) March 8, 2018
The nine-member flag committee, which decided to have three colours and the emblem, met Siddaramaiah along with prominent names from several Kannada organisations and literature.
Mukhyamantri Chandru, a member of the flag committee said, “There is nothing in the Constitution that says states should not have a flag. So the Siddaramaiah government decided to give some sanctity to the Karnataka state to fix a regional flag. This is no damage to the national flag.”
The decision to have a separate flag comes just weeks before Karnataka goes to crucial assembly polls. The issue of Kannada language and now a separate flag for the southern coastal state are likely to help the incumbent chief minister. The Centre’s BJP government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be in a fix on whether to approve the state government’s decision or reject it outright. Analysts believe that, in either situation, Siddaramaiah stands to gain electorally.
The Siddaramaiah government has been pushing pro-Kannada agenda for several months now. Not so long ago, the state government had launched a ‘No To Hindi’ campaign, whereby signboards written in Hindi were removed and replaced with English and Kannada languages in Bangalore.