Karnataka Flag Row: CM Siddaramaiah Asserts Nothing Wrong in State Flag

In 2012, when BJP government was ruling in Karnataka, and proposed to make Karnataka's unofficial red and yellow flag official, the Congress had moved to the High Court saying that separate flag would be "against the unity and integrity of the country".

Former advocate general of Karnataka Ravi Varma Kumar quoted, "The Constitution provides states supremacy in their own sphere and even a seven-judge Supreme Court bench has upheld this". The state unit of the Congress has said it is trying to build a Kannada-pride narrative to counter the BJP's Hindutva agenda, but national leaders have advised Siddaramaiah to end the controversy immediately. He said if BJP is opposing the initiative, they are open to say that they are against a state flag.

A home ministry spokesperson, strongly disapproving of the proposal, said: "We are one nation, we have one flag". Former Karnataka chief minister and Union minister D V Sadananda Gowda dismissed the move when questioned by reporters, saying, "India is one nation and there can not be two flags in one country".

The matter had been reported in the local media at the time, but it was picked up again on Tuesday, and projected as an effort by Karnataka's Congress government to subvert the national flag and the laws that allow only Jammu and Kashmir to have its own flag. If states have their flags, they could diminish the importance of the national flag.

A nine-member committee has been formed by Karnataka's Congress government and tasked with submitting a report on designing the separate flag for the state and providing a legal standing for it.

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The Hindi language agitation that was seen in Bengaluru recently was against the imposition of "one country one language" rule and so this new turn of events will definitely give the Opposition some ammunition to attack the Siddaramaiah government.

The state government's proposal, coming after five years, was refused by the Union Minister DV Sadananda Gowda saying that India is one country and can not have two flags.

Experts HT spoke to, said there was no legal bar on a state flag.

The demand of having a separate official flag is not new in the state. This issue had been raised earlier too, but such a flag only represents "the people and not the state", the official said.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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