Karnataka CM in a fix over state flag issue

Karnataka set to have own state flag committee looks into legal sanctity

While the committee will look into the legal aspects of a state flag, experts TOI spoke to say the existing laws may permit states to have a flag of their own. The state would be up for assembly polls in 2018.

"The Congress does not have a policy for a state having a separate flag".

Shiv Sena's Sanjay Raut said that the Congress government in Karnataka should be dismissed as the move is against Constitution.

Gadad, a resident of Belagavi district, said he felt a flag for the state was required because of the alleged disrespect shown to Karnataka by the Maharashtra Ekikaran Samiti, which has called for the district to be integrated into Maharashtra.

That flag is not used in national ceremonies like Republic Day or Independence Day but on occasions like state foundation day, an official said. Union minister DV Sada nanda Gowda dismis sed the move, saying, "India is one nation, and it can't have two flags".

Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah defended the demand for a separate flag for the state, asking if there is any provision in the Constitution that prohibits the state from having its own flag.

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The government had told the Karnataka high court then that it had not accepted suggestions to declare the red-and-yellow flag as the of ficial state flag. A state can have its own flag. "There is no restriction in the Constitution that says a state can not have its own separate flag", Rao said. The order, signed on behalf of the governor by G Annapurna, under secretary of the Kannada and culture department, reads: "The committee must ready a design for a separate state flag and submit a report on providing it a legal sanctity". Kashmir also should not have such a flag.

The Gokak agitation of the 1980s was successful in giving primacy to the Kannada language in the state which had earlier followed a three-language formula that included Hindi and English.

"The flag was designed by Y. Ramamurthy and A. Krishna Rao in the mid-1960s, when the state was renamed Karnataka from Mysore".

Echoing the BJP's line, he said, "The country has only one flag and that is the national flag".

Home ministry officials explained Karnataka already had a flag representing only the "people and not the government".

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