The Congress government may be forced to postpone the final decision about the independent state flag for Karnataka till after the assembly elections as pro-Kannada outfits remain divided over its design.
A nine-member committee met last week but was unable to decide on the design of the flag. Kannada Development Authority (KDA) chairperson SG Siddaramaiah said, “Most things have already been discussed. We're meeting again because we didn't want to rush into a decision. We want to accommodate all points of view especially on the design front and submit a report," speaking to Times of India.
Another member of the committee said that the panel would seek a meeting with CM Siddaramaiah to submit its recommendations. "While there are no legal hurdles to having a flag, the law department has submitted a report on what procedures need to be followed while implementing it. As far as we see, we should be able to submit a final report in 10 days," the member said.
Since pro-Kannada activists remained divided over the design, a final decision may have wait till after the elections as the committee is likely to submit all options before the government.
Meanwhile, Kannada Paksha, a registered political party, has claimed rights over the characteristic yellow-and red flag that is currently in use in the state.
However, Kannada Okkoota, a federation of Kannada organisations has asked the state government to retain the red-and-yellow flag as the official state flag. Its president Vatal Nagaraj said speaking to The Hindu that the present flag has a 50-year history and is well accepted.
Congress leaders meanwhile defended allegations from BJP that the government is using the flag issue for political leverage.n"Different organizations have their own flag, but it is not the same for a state. There are procedures and a proper methodology to go about such decisions. So far, nothing has reached us (the Centre) officially," Union minister D V Sadananda Gowda told TOI.
Karnataka is set to go to polls later this year with the state assembly elections scheduled for May.