Karnataka Govt. wants State Flag, BJP calls move anti

Karnataka Govt. wants State Flag, BJP calls move anti

A Union home ministry official said in New Delhi Tuesday there was no legal bar on a state having a separate flag but it would represent the people and not the government and said India as a nation had only one flag.

Chief Minister of Karnataka Siddaramaiah, who is often sided with the pro-Kannada activists and known for reading more Kannada literature, has categorically said that this move was not at all taken with an eye on 2018 Assembly polls.

The committee was formed after noted Kannada writer and journalist Patil Puttappa and social worker Bheemappa Gundappa Gadada urged the government to design a separate flag and grant it legal standing, reported PTI. The unofficial flag is a common sight in Karnataka and the pro-Kannada activists have virtually adopted the flag as a symbol of state pride, The Indian Expressreported.

While the BJP has been crying hoarse over the state government's move to form a committee for finalising a state flag, the Congress government in Karnataka has refused to give an inch. "While all these Acts speak of the National Flag and its protocol, the Acts remain silent on the issue of a state having its own flag".

Earlier this month, the state government made Kannada compulsory in all Karnataka schools including CBSE and ICSE.

Meanwhile, BJP blamed Congress for flaring a separatist mindset and asserted that the Constitution does not permit a state flag.

Challenged by a Kannada activist in court, alleging the misuse of the state flag by the party to influence the support of the people, Chief Justice Vikramjit Sen of the Karnataka High Court questioned the validity of such an imposition. "The flag controversy provided ammunition to the BJP, just when we were going after them on issues such as lynching by cow vigilantes", said a senior Congress leader.

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On June 6, we chose to form this panel (state flag), it was not for any political reason.

"As the Constitution does not bar states from having their own flag for a separate identity, we will consider it if the panel recommends", he said in a statement.

Apart from the northern state of Jammu and Kashmir, which has its own flag, no other state has a separate flag.

The only state so far to have a separate official flag is Jammu and Kashmir, which enjoys special status under the Indian constitution. The issue of giving the northeastern state its own flag is nearly decided, sources told Hindustan Times in this 2016 report.

According to reports, the panel will also suggest the design of the flag for the southern state.

India is known for its diverse culture and various languages that the nation has.

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