Deputy Chief Minister DK Shivakumar has said that Karnataka Governor Thawar Chand Gehlot has declined an ordinance aimed at increasing the usage of Kannada on signboards. The governor could have approved it, he added.
According to reports, the statement comes just a day after Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah met the Governor and urged him to clear the bills passed in the Belagavi session of the legislature in December, 2023.
The cabinet had sanctioned the implementation of a mandatory 60% usage of the language on business signage during a meeting on January 5. The proposed ordinance sought to amend the Kannada Language Comprehensive Development Act.
While the state government had recommended the Governor to implement the ordinance, Gehlot insisted that it be passed in the Assembly. Deputy Chief Minister DK Shivakumar said, "The government formulated a law to increase the Kannada on signboards. However, the Governor rejected it and advised the state to pass it in the Assembly, instead of signing it."
The state government chose to use an ordinance because the legislative session was not in progress. The decision to increase the use of Kannada in signage boards comes in the wake of violent protests by pro-Kannada activists in December, 2023, which led to the Bengaluru police detaining several activists.