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Senior BJP MLA demands separate statehood to north Karnataka

Press Trust of India  |  Bengaluru 

Senior BJP MLA Umesh Katti kicked up a row on Friday demanding a separate statehood to North Karnataka as he cited lack of development in the region and inadequate relief to the victims of the recent floods.

"My struggle will continue till my death against the injustice to this region", Katti told reporters at Sankeshwar in Belagavi district, which bore the brunt of the floods in north Karnataka region in August.

Katti expressed his angst over lack of water supply in certain parts of the state from neighbouring Maharashtra and Goa.

The eight-time MLA sought to target Prime Minister Narendra Modi for inadequate central relief for the flood victims, and Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis over water-sharing.

"Neither is (Chief Minister B S) Yediyurappa's action appropriate, nor is Prime Minister Narendra Modi's action good or even Maharashtra CM's action is good," Katti said.

He added that there was still an opportunity to hold discussions between the states and come to a resolution that benefits all.

"If that is not done, then separatestatehood to North Karnataka is inevitable", Katti, who failed to secure a berth in Yediyurappa's cabinet, said.

"I endorse that if the relief is not provided then the separate statehood to North Karnataka is the answer," he said.

Laying the "road map of his dream state" of North Karnataka, Katti said it would include 13 districts from Karnataka and four from the neighbouring Maharashtra, where there is sizeable presence of Kannada speaking populace.

"If they don't agree to our demands, we will include Kolhapur, Sangli, Karad and one more from Maharashtra and 13 from Karnataka - All these districts put together will be in the North Karnataka state," Katti said.

Stating that he was a 'CM material', Katti said before his death he would realise the dream of becoming the Chief Minister of North Karnataka.

"I am a CM candidate, not the one who craves for the post of DCM. Either Chief Minister (of Karnataka) or the Chief Minister of North Karnataka, which is not far away.

Before my end I will be the Chief Minister of North Karnataka," Katti, a votary of North Karnataka state for quite long, said.

However, he clarified that his need to become the "Chief Minister of North Karnataka" derives from the injustice meted out to the northern part of the state.

He added that his struggle would continue till his demands were met.

"If it is destined then I could become minister or chief minister one day but the lack of development in this region is what compelling me to protest and demand separate statehood.

This is my resolve," the Hukkeri MLA said.

He slammed Yediyurappa for his alleged statement in poll bound Maharashtra during an election rally that water from Karnataka would be given to Maharashtra.

Katti became the second BJP MLA in the recent past to slam the BJP leadership for the alleged injustice to North Karnataka.

Prior to him, Vijayapura city MLA Basanagouda Patil Yatnal had criticised Prime Minister Modi for not releasing adequate funds to rebuild flood-hit regions of Karnataka.

Yatnal, who drew the ire of the party high command for his critical comments, went on to say that some people want to unseat Yediyurappa and so, "they blocked" the funds.

Yatnal was served with a show-cause notice by the central disciplinary committee of the BJP, seeking his reply for his utterances.

When contacted, the state BJP general secretary and MLC N Ravi Kumar said he was not aware of what Katti has spoken.

"However, the Chief Minister will speak to him and ask him what he has said," Kumar told PTI.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, October 18 2019. 17:50 IST