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Give nod to Karnataka flag to prove you are a true Kannadiga: Siddaramaiah to PM Modi

Narendra Modi interacted with office-bearers and elected representatives of Karnataka through his mobile app on April 26 and had claimed he was also a Kannadiga.

india Updated: May 01, 2018 17:09 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India, Bengaluru
Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah speaks during the inauguration of the solar panels in Pavagada Taluk, about 150 kms from Bengaluru, on March 1, 2018.
Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah speaks during the inauguration of the solar panels in Pavagada Taluk, about 150 kms from Bengaluru, on March 1, 2018. (PTI Photo)
         

Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah invoked Kannada pride on the eve of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s whirlwind election tour on Tuesday and asked him to approve the state flag.

Modi launched his campaign blitzkrieg on Tuesday in Karnataka with rallies at Santhemarahalli in Chamarajanagara district, and Udupi and Chikkodi in Belagavi.

In a series of tweets on Monday night, Siddaramaiah complimented Modi over his recent claim that he too is a Kannadiga and raised concerns over alleged imposition of Hindi.

“Congratulations to Prime Minister Narendra Modi who has declared himself a Kannadiga. Becoming Kannadiga means” accepting Kannada language, naada geete (state anthem), naada” dwaja (state flag).”

“Will you become true Kannadiga by giving approval to Karnataka’s nada dwaja? #AnswerMadiModi,” Siddaramaiah tweeted in Kannada.

Flagging “Kannadiga pride” ahead of the assembly polls, Siddaramaiah had unveiled the proposed official state flag for Karnataka in March.

The state’s flag, in hues of yellow, white and red, has the state’s emblem ‘Gandaberunda’, a two-headed mythological bird, at its centre. The proposal has been forwarded to the Centre for mandatory approval.

In another tweet, Siddaramaiah said becoming Kannadiga means giving importance to Kannada and abandoning forcible” imposition of Hindi. “Are you ready to be Kannadiga?” he questioned.

Seeking to strike a chord with BJP leaders, office-bearers and elected representatives during an interaction with them through his mobile app on April 26, Modi had claimed he”was also a Kannadiga.

“Like you, I am also a karyakarta (worker) from Karnataka. Believe this and move ahead. I will work with you shoulder to” shoulder,” he had said.

Noting that becoming Kannadiga means being committed to protecting Karnataka’s land, water and language, the chief minister asked, “Will you call meeting of chief ministers of three states to resolve Mahadayi river water sharing dispute?”

Karnataka has been demanding that the prime minister call a meeting of the chief ministers of riparian states of Maharashtra, Goa and Karnataka to resolve the Mahadayi dispute.

Maintaining that becoming Kannadiga entails protecting Kannada, Kannadiga and Karnataka’s interest, he asked, “Will you become Kannadiga by allowing Kannadigas to write entrance exams of nationalised banks in Kannada?”

Siddramaiah wrote about Karnataka’s tradition of brotherhood, and wondered how Modi could be a Kannadiga when the BJP has not fielded a single Muslim or Christian candidate.

Launching his campaign blitzkrieg today in poll-bound Karnataka, Modi will address rallies at Santhemarahalli in Chamarajanagara district, and Udupi and Chikkodi in Belagavi.

Reacting to Siddaramaiah’s tweets, Karnataka BJP in a tweet said, “Tweeting at midnight? Looks like the perpetually” sleeping CM has lost sleep over Modi’s visit! Fun begins now.”

First Published: May 01, 2018 17:02 IST