Alleging Karnataka Chief Minister Kumaraswamy of discrimination in the budget towards the region, Uttara Karnataka Horata Samiti, which comprises of various farmer groups and student organisations, has called for a separate state of North Karnataka. Kumaraswamy’s remarks on North Karnataka where he had reportedly said, ‘While voting, they (voters) remembered their caste and money. Now, they want me to work’ also seems to have triggered the protests.
The Samiti has also called for a bandh on 2nd August in the 13 districts of North Karnataka including Belagavi, Dharawad, Gulbarga, Ballari, Bidar, Kopal and Raichur districts. As per reports, the Samiti is upset over the ‘government’s attitude’ towards issues like Mahadayi river dispute and that the recent budget by Kumaraswamy did not have any sops for the region.
The BJP leaders had also protested against the budget, to which CM Kumaraswamy had reportedly said, ‘If they had thought beyond caste and money during elections, they would have the moral right to ask for a complete loan waiver. I have extended them the benefits that I have extended to farmers in the rest of the state.’ He had dismissed the allegations and said, ‘Those who have lost their precious land for development of Bengaluru city are working as peons in corporate offices. The entire state’s development activities are funded by revenue generated from the city. If separate statehood is given to North Karnataka, they won’t be able to even generate revenue for completing major projects in the region.’
These statements, apparently, have left the Congress red-faced and Congress leaders have reportedly approached All India Congress Committee to complaint about Kumaraswamy’s statements as it may have repercussions in the upcoming 2019 general elections.