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Siddaramaiah Stirs Emotive Waters, Moves for Kannada Flag Before Assembly Polls

Siddaramaiah Stirs Emotive Waters, Moves for Kannada Flag Before Assembly Polls”

The previous BJP government in the state (2008-13), however, opposed the demand for a separate flag in 2012, as it considered to be against the unity and integrity of the country, which has the Tricolour as the national flag.

The decision to set up a committee was made after representations were made by several activists.

Assembly elections are due in Karnataka next year.

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"Is there any provision in the Constitution which is prohibiting a state to have its own flag?" BJP leaders alleged that the Congress was trying to whip up Kannada pride ahead of the 2018 elections.

Shiv Sena's Sanjay Raut said that the Congress government in Karnataka should be dismissed as the move is against Constitution.

Asked whether the move to have a state flag was meant to keep the Kannadiga population in good stead in an election year, he said, "Elections are in April-May not now, not tomorrow, not next month". Union minister DV Sada nanda Gowda dismis sed the move, saying, "India is one nation, and it can't have two flags".

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Currently, only Jammu and Kashmir is the only state in the country to have separate official flag along with the national tri-color under Article 370 of the Constitution. This time around, however, it is not a fringe organisation but the state government itself that has taken the issue up with the appointment of a nine member committee to design a state flag and submit a report on giving it legal sanctity.

The Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP), the main opposition party in the state, does not support a separate flag for Karnataka. One advocate said, "India has a federal structure and there haven't been many discussions on the flag". It should always be hoisted below the national flag.

Karnataka has already been using a red-and-yellow flag unofficially during state events, both at government and private ones organised by pro-Kannada groups. The government then said it would not make it mandatory to fly the state flag. He had further stated that the national flag is the symbol of the nation's integrity and sovereignty and if the states have their separate flags, it could diminish the importance of the national flag and lead to narrow-minded regional feelings.

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