With the Karnataka Assembly elections just months away, parties are going all out to please voters. The Siddaramaiah-led Congress governments will complete its term in May 2018.
On Thursday, Minister of Railways Piyush Goyal tweeted that unreserved tickets issued in Karnataka would be in Kannada. This has been a demand for long by groups who have been severely against the government for it's 'Hindi imposition'.
From today all unreserved tickets being issued from any station in the state of Karnataka shall have the names of originating and destination stations in Kannada language.— Piyush Goyal (@PiyushGoyal) March 1, 2018
Bharatiya Janata Party’s Karnataka handle took a dig at the Congress, and said it was the BJP who fulfilled a long-standing demand.
“Some Congress sponsored groups tried to project BJP as anti-Kannada. But it had to be @PiyushGoyal, a BJP minister, who finally fulfilled long standing demand of Kannadigas to print railway tickets in Kannada. Why is there no celebration now from those groups? #BJPForKannadaPride,” they tweeted.
Some Congress sponsored groups tried to project BJP as anti-Kannada. But it had to be @PiyushGoyal, a BJP minister, who finally fulfilled long standing demand of Kannadigas to print railway tickets in Kannada. Why is there no celebration now from those groups?#BJPForKannadaPride pic.twitter.com/N2ardWq5ca— BJP Karnataka (@BJP4Karnataka) March 1, 2018
This did not go down well with many, who questioned the BJP about why they were only doing it now, and only doing it one state when it should be done in all states.
Its our right of being kannadiga Indian in Karnataka to print kannada ,not a mercy of GOI n GoI basic responsibility do it— Pratheek MS (@ms_pratheek) March 1, 2018
Shall we celebrate on Karnataka being segregated for votes? Where is India and Indians?— Arjun Mishra (@arjunjmishra) March 1, 2018
WILL THE kANNADIGAS HAVE TO PAY LESS FOR THE TICKET FOR THE TICKET BEING PRINTED IN KANNADA? IN kARNATAKA TICKETS HAVE TO BE PRINTED IN KANNADA. HOW THIS IDEA CAME WHILE STATE ELECTION IS ROUND THE CORNER? WHAT YOU WERE DOING TILL NOW? STUPID BJP. https://t.co/QeRepE1A8L— GOPALKRISHNA NAYAK (@gopi261950) March 2, 2018
This is not a favor being done. Earlier all the train tickets in Karnataka was printed in Kannada.— desi_mangoman (@deshi_mangoman) March 1, 2018
Make no mistake, the Union govt, by providing train tickets in Kannada, isn’t doing any favours to Kannadigas. It’s neither a watershed moment nor an unprecedented development. Tickets used to be in Kannada in the 90s. They have only made amends by including Kannada now.— Ramachandra Maharudrappa (@nanuramu) March 1, 2018
The tickets will be printed in Kannada, along with English and Hindi. However, tickets purchased online will not have this.
Some did praise the BJP, and called the move to print tickets in Kannada a great initiative.
A great initiative by @AseerAchary @vhsindia in Printing of regional languages on railway tickets has bn implemented from today.Karnataka vl carry journey details in Kannada language also besides Hindi&English. His achievement has bn properly placed on records of RB. Dr @Swamy39— nikunj shah (@niku1630) March 2, 2018
We Kannadigas should be thankful to the union Railway Minister for having Kannada on Railway tickets. Wonder why PLE Karnataka did not have apprehensions on the same issue when Mr.Kharge was the Railway minister and the UPA was in power for a decade. Selective targets?— Sudhir Rai (@mavanthoor) March 2, 2018
Thank you @PiyushGoyal ji for fulfilling the promise of printing railway tickets in kannada. A long time struggle of kannadigas fulfilled. Thanks to @mepratap @CTRavi_BJP for raising the voice and standing up for the cause of kannada. You showed that BJP is for everyone.— Right Actions (@rightactionsin) March 2, 2018
Proud moment for Karnataka people to have their local language Kannada to be printed on railway tickets .— Nitinkumar S.R. (@nitinkumar9465) March 1, 2018
Thanks to @ Shri Piyush Goyal sir a long-standing demand of Kannadigas has been fulfilled the railway exam in kannada&Train tickets will also have information in Kannada and the same can be printed from A VMachines at Railway— ಮಹಂತೇಶ್.(Mahanthesha.C) (@c_mahanthesh) March 1, 2018
The Indian Railways’ passenger amenities committee had approved a proposal to print tickets in the local language, in addition to English and Hindi from January 1, 2018.
Karnataka is not alone in demanding the inclusion of local languages, as states like Tamil Nadu have also demanded that tickets and official forms be available in the local language. They pushed for a two-language policy of English and the local language instead of Hindi.