Demand for Separate North Karnataka Lacks Support on Ground, Says Kumaraswamy Ahead of Protests
Over 20 north Karnataka organizations, representing various bodies and people, have also opposed the separate state demand calling it unviable.
File photo of Karnataka CM HD Kumaraswamy.
Bengaluru: Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy’s clever conciliatory moves, BJP’s U-turn and not much support on the ground seem to have weakened the sudden demand for a separate north Karnataka state. The bandh called by some organisations demanding bifurcation of the state on Thursday is likely to be a damp squib because of opposition to such a demand from the same region.
The BJP, which is allegedly fueling the separate north Karnataka demand, has done a U-turn after some of its top leaders cautioned the party about the disastrous consequences of backing division of the state.
The state BJP president BS Yeddyurappa flew to Belgaum in Mumbai-Karnataka region on Tuesday and requested the separate north Karnataka activists to drop the demand. He blamed the Kumaraswamy government for the current crisis and demanded all round development of the two major regions in the north — Mumbai–Karnataka and Hyderabad–Karnataka.
On Tuesday, Kumaraswamy met leaders from north Karnataka and promised to visit to all 13 districts in the region to understand the difficulties being faced the people there. He also dubbed the demand as a BJP sponsored political drama.
Over 20 north Karnataka organizations, representing various bodies and people, have also opposed the separate state demand calling it unviable. The Congress, major partner in the coalition, has also opposed the demand holding the BJP responsible for the act.
The state Congress president Dinesh Gundurao said that it was a part of BJP’s larger plan of divide and rule policy. “The BJP is desperate. They are in trouble ahead of the crucial Lok Sabha elections 2019. They are using it to get votes. But it will backfire badly,” he said.
Uttara Karnataka Raitha Sangha which is leading the bandh has attacked the leaders who met Kumaraswamy in Bengaluru on Tuesday. Speaking to News18 its president Basavaraja Karigara said that they would go ahead with the bandh and would even hoist a separate north Karnataka flag on Thursday.
They have asked all commercial establishments, educational institutions etc to support the bandh in all 13 districts. They are also planning to disrupt the public transport across the two regions.
Speaking to News18, Kumaraswamy has once again requested them to drop the demand. “It is a BJP conspiracy to divide the state. They have been exposed. Because of that they are now blaming us. Such dramas for votes will never succeed. They will pay for it dearly. There is no support for the demand on the ground,” the chief minister said.
He has also decided to shift many important government offices from Bengaluru to north Karnataka to address the grievances of the people.
The BJP has asked its leaders not to extend support to the bandh saying that it is with the people who genuinely feel that their regions are ignored and not with the people who want to divide the state.
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