BJP MLA backs statehood demand for north Karnataka; later retracts

By PTI Published on Jul 28, 2018 10:43 AM IST

Bengaluru: Hours after backing those demanding separate statehood for North Karnataka leaving his party embarrassed, BJP MLA B Sriramulu yesterday retracted his statement,saying he never supported division of the State.

Much to the State BJP leadership's embarrassment, Sriramulu told reporters earlier that he would support those who gave a bandh call on 2 August demanding separate statehood for the region.

"We will not keep quiet if injustice is meted out to North Karnataka. We the MLAs from North Karnataka are holding discussions. Just wait and watch, what we will do next.

Like separate Telangana, this (movement) will also become a big 'revolution'. The coalition government has ignored North Karnataka. Chief Minister Kumaraswamy is practising the politics of partiality," Sriramulu said at Ballari.

As the party disapproved of his stand, he retracted, saying he actually meant that it was unfortunate that demand for separate statehood to northKarnataka has been made.

"It is unfortunate that the struggle for separate statehood has begun due to the step-motherly attitude of the coalition government," Sriramulu said in a statement.

He said present day Karnataka was unified due tothe sacrifices of people like Chennabasappa, Haraginadoni Sanna Basavanagouda and Ramzan Saab from Ballari.

"It is far from truth that I, the one who belongs to the same district (Ballari), would support a separate state. I have huge respect for unified Karnataka. Without discriminating between east, west, north and south, I believe in one Karnataka."

The coalition government should also respect undivided Karnataka by giving due preference to North Karnataka, Sriramulu said in his statement.

BJP State president B S Yeddyurappa had earlier flayed those demanding separate statehood, saying such a demand will not lead to any solution.

Party MP Shobha Karandlaje too dismissed the demand for separate statehood.