Politics behind separate flag for K'taka issue

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The state government on June 6 constituted a nine-member committee to design a state flag as a symbol of identity and to unfurl it on its formation day on November 1 every year. "But Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has taken a unilateral decision without consulting the Opposition leaders", Yeddyurappa said during a protest organised by the party.

A long-standing demand by Kannada activists for an official State flag became a major controversy yesterday with Karnataka Government setting up a nine-member Committee to examine the legality and desirability of having and designing a separate flag for the State. An official state flag for Karnataka is a longstanding demand of pro-Kannada activists. Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut said the Karnataka government's move was "against the nation's integrity", and sought imposition of President's rule in the state. "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".

In charge of Congress in Karnataka, KC Venugopal, while responding to the chief minister's action on the state flag said that the party's stand is clear.

Jayachandra said the committee would weigh the pros and cons of having such a flag, but stressed the state wanted to be in the "mainstream" and did not want any "controversy". "If BJP is opposed to it then can they say openly that they are against a state flag", the Chief Minister said. Let them make a statement that they do not want a flag for Karnataka. "Is there was any provision in the Constitution which prohibits the state from having its own flag?"

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On June 6, we made a decision to form this panel (state flag), it was not for any political reason.

Most countries around the world that follow a federal system allow regional flags.

Only Jammu and Kashmir has a flag of its own and there is no desire for a flag in another state. There has been a demand from various quarters that official status be accorded to the Kannada flag. If this does pass the courts scrutiny at any stage, Karnataka will be the second state in India to have its own flag after Jammu and Kashmir that comes under the purview of Article 370. Strong states or provisioning to have state flags will not weaken the nation but in other way it will strengthen the nation.

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