The BJP leader seeks to persuade activists and seers in the town against holding agitations demanding a separate North Karnataka state.

As call for separate North Karnataka grows BSY to go to Belagavi to broker peace
news Politics Monday, July 30, 2018 - 15:13

Karnataka Leader of the Opposition, BS Yeddyurappa, on Monday confirmed that he will be heading to Belagavi in the wake of the bandh called for a separate North Karnataka state.

The BJP leader is set to persuade activists and seers in the town against holding agitations demanding a separate North Karnataka state. He claimed that he is in favour of a 'united and prosperous' Karnataka, and blamed the ruling JD(S)-Congress coalition government for trying to 'divide and rule' the state.

Yeddyurappa will be in Belagavi on Tuesday in an attempt to stifle the growing calls for a separate North Karnataka state. "I will leave for Belagavi tomorrow in order to dissuade people from the strike and persuade seers of various mutts and other leaders who are holding demonstration for separate Karnataka in front of Suvarna Soudha," he said in a statement.

However, he accused the ruling JD(S)-Congress coalition government of treating North Karnataka like a ‘step-child’ and criticised Kumaraswamy for his recent statements scoffing at farmer groups in Koppal while asking why they did not remember him while voting in elections.

“By asking them (farmer groups in Koppal) whether they have voted for him to demand for loan waiver, the chief minister has not only exhibited arrogance but has also violated and insulted the Constitution. Never before in the political history of Karnataka has any chief minister made such an irresponsible and arrogant statement as like that of Kumaraswamy’s”, Yeddyurappa said.

He claimed that funds meant for development of Bengaluru will be diverted to develop North Karnataka. "By saying that he would utilise the funds meant for Benglaluru for development of North Karnataka, Kumaraswamy has sought to divide the people and the state".

He further added, “Previously, the Congress had supported separating Veerashaivas and Lingayats, and the JD(S) appears to be continuing in the same vein.”

Yeddyurappa’s statement comes as a chorus of support for a separate North Karnataka state grew louder with BJP leaders from North Karnataka, including Umesh Katti and B Sriramulu, backing the demand last week. However, Sriramulu has  issued a clarification on Monday saying that there was no question of supporting the protests for a separate North Karnataka state. 

A bandh has been called on Thursday over the issue with several institutions in northern Karnataka set to suspend activities.

The BJP was a divided house over the issue and was awaiting the arrival of party president Amit Shah to clarify their stance.

Amit Shah, who was scheduled to visit Bengaluru on July 28, with the view of galvanising BJP cadre ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, postponed his visit citing commitments in New Delhi.

Several BJP leaders in the southern part of the state, including Shobha Karandlaje and CT Ravi, have rejected the demand for a separate state and appealed for a united 'Suvarna Karnataka'.

North Karnataka comprises the districts falling under Bombay Karnataka and Hyderabad Karnataka. While the demand for a separate state had subsided after the UPA government's decision to give special status to Hyderabad Karnataka region under Article 371(J) of the Constitution in 2012, it appears to have resurfaced once again with activists and leaders pointing towards the budget submitted by Kumaraswamy as the trigger.

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