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Karnataka

Demand For A New State Arises In North Karnataka

Demand for a new state arises in north Karnataka—sunk in underdevelopment and neglect for generations

Demand For A New State Arises In North Karnataka
‘Step-Motherly’ |
Demand For A New State Arises In North Karnataka
outlookindia.com
2018-08-04T10:47:19+05:30

The debate over Karnataka’s lopsided growth—where the north vies with the south over resour­ces and development—is an old one, something expert panels have examined over the decades. But resentment over regional imbala­nce is rearing its head again, with outf­its in the worse-off northern parts reiterating the demand for a separate state.

That demand was made in 2002 as well, says Somashekar Mahadevappa Kota­mb­ari, president of the Uttara Karnataka Pratyeka Rajya Horata Samiti, which has called a bandh in 13 districts in northern Karnataka this week to press the case. “This is a four-decade-old demand,” he tells Outlook. “The struggle will continue up to the formation of a new state.” What has ruffled feathers further, he claims, was Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy’s angry retort at a recent far­­mers’ protest over a crop loan waiver, asking why they didn’t think of him during the polls. The CM is irked by the opposition’s criticism that his bud­­­­get allocations were ske­­wed towards his party’s (JD-S) southern stronghold. But, say analysts, und­­ertones of the stand-off reflects the disgr­unt­lement of local leaders left out of the JD(S)-­Con­gress coalition government. Kum­­a­­ra­swamy’s out­­­­burst puts partner Con­­­­gress in a spot, especially in the context of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. However, to many, the issue is largely about equitable development; talk of a separate state is more a pressure tactic.

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