Karnataka wants separateflag for State, forms panel

Presidents of Kannada Sahitya Parishat (literary academy) and Kannada Development Authority (KDA), Hampi University Vice-Chancellor and Kannada & Culture director are the other members of the panel.

Barring the northern state of Jammu and Kashmir, which has its own flag under Article 370 of the Constitution, no state has a separate flag.

Ma Ramamurthy, son of freedom fighter and litterateur Veerakesari Seetharama Shastri, was the first to have conceptualised and designed the Yellow and Red flag for Karnataka. The panel will look into all aspects.

"Whether it (flag) is needed or not is a policy matter, the pros and cons will be looked into by the committee before giving its report to the government", he said.

Clearing the air over the demand of a separate flag for State, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Wednesday said that the decision of forming a separate panel for the state flag was taken on June 6. Janata Dal (Secular) leader H D Kumaraswamy said there is no provision in the Constitution for a state flag. "Has the BJP come across such a provision?" he asked. "The flag controversy provided ammunition to the BJP, just when we were going after them on issues such as lynching by cow vigilantes", said a senior Congress leader.

The move has been made ahead of the state Assembly polls next year. "While all these Acts speak of the National Flag and its protocol, the Acts remain silent on the issue of a state having its own flag".

"By having a regional flag, no disrespect is being shown to the national flag". "If the BJP is opposed to it, then can they say openly that they are against a state flag". She had said in the report to Rao that there was "a talk" that Rs two crore had exchanged hands and that there were allegations against him (Rao) as well. The BJP will now hold protests to up the ante against it. "We also have a separate state anthem, penned by popular Kannada poet Kuppali Venkatappa Puttappa or Kuvempu", said the official. This too forced him to think that Karnataka did not have a flag as its identity.

The Congress High Command wants to know in what context CM Siddharamaiah has Constituted a committee to examine whether the State can have a flag.

Meanwhile, the home ministry has rejected the Karnataka government's proposal of having separate flag. "The Congress government is using this issue to divert attention from some recent controversies", he said. The blood tainted shirt of one of the victims was hoisted as the new flag of Kashmir by the crowd.

  • Joey Payne