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Bengaluru: Demand for separate flag not an insult, says CM, lambasts opposition

20 July 2017

Asserting that a separate flag for Karnataka will neither be anti-national nor an embarrassment to the Tricolour, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Wednesday reiteriated that there is legally no hindrance to the state having its own flag.

The state has an unofficial red and yellow "Kannada flag". "It is a grey area", said Jayachandra. "The National Flag comes first".

Politically various Chief Ministers of the state have played ping pong with the issue. But we do sing it at public events.

"Our party is not opposed to Karnataka having a separate flag".

The Karnataka government has set up a nine-member committee to design a separate flag for the state and find a way to provide it Constitutional validity, The Times of India reported on Tuesday.

The Congress in Delhi is uncomfortable by its Karnataka chapter's demand, though it comes in the wake of public protests against the Centre's forcible imposition of Hindi in the non-Hindi-speaking states in the south. Sources say the Congress in the national capital is anxious that the move by Siddaramaiah's government may be seen as appeasement of public sentiment and a means of consolidating its vote-bank in view of next year's polls.

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Confident over his decision, Siddaramaiah slammed the opposing parties - Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Janata Dal Secular (JDS) - by claiming that the Indian Constitution does not mention anything over having a state flag or not, so no need to quote nonexistent clauses.

"We are one nation, one flag".

A spokesperson from the central government's home ministry on Tuesday speaking to media has said that "We are one nation, one flag".

"The Congress government is going by the word of a few pro-Kannada groups and resorting to anti-national activities. State flag is not an alternative to the National Flag", he added.

In addition, they argue that considering all states have their own insignia and many states also have their own anthems, would having a state flag make a big difference?

Sources said that CM Siddaramaiah has seized upon a highly emotive issue, and one that is placing the Kannadas at direct loggerheads with the BJP that is now increasingly perceived as a north-Indian, pro-Hindi party. "I don't see any provision anywhere, if they want to have state flag, there is nothing wrong in it", Rao told ANI.

Bengaluru: Demand for separate flag not an insult, says CM, lambasts opposition