BJP attacks Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah for 'unilateral' decision on state flag

Can Karnataka Have Own Flag? Government Sets Up Committee To Explore

Congress members were also reported to be unhappy with the Karnataka government's decision to design a state flag, ANI reported.

Speaking to media, Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said: "It has nothing to do with elections".

The controversy was triggered after Karnataka formed a nine-member committee to design a state flag and examine whether it could be given legal sanctity.

Officials of Union Home Ministry have instantly, and rightly so, gave clarification against any such separate flag for a state.

The Siddaramaiah government's move to form a committee is being considered as a departure from the stand taken by the earlier BJP government.

Senior Supreme Court lawyer and Constitutional expert Pavani Parameswara Rao expressed that Karnataka can have its own flag as there is no restriction in the Indian Constitution. DV Sadananda Gowda said in his 2012 budget speech that it would be compulsory to hoist the state flag on government buildings, schools and colleges.

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While the Indian Constitution does not prohibit a state from having its own flag, the national flag code requires that the tricolor flag note be dishonoured on any account. If states have their separate flags, it could diminish the importance of the national flag.

Challenged by a Kannada activist in court, alleging the misuse of the state flag by the party to influence the support of the people, Chief Justice Vikramjit Sen of the Karnataka High Court questioned the validity of such an imposition. Let them make a statement that they do not want a flag for Karnataka.

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

This being the situation, there was no problem in the state having its own flag, he said adding that his department will deliberate on legal precedents and judicial directives before taking any decision.The minister said that the state anthem too does not have official status.

In the 1960s, when Karnataka had erupted into protests against anti-Kannada movies, the flag was used by a party, Kannada Paksha, as its own symbol. "I have faith in the federal system of the country". Only J&K has such a flag and we ha ve no desire for a flag in anot her state. 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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