The Mumbai-Karnataka region will be renamed as 'Kittur Karnataka region' as there is no point in retaining the old name when border disputes often emerge, Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai said on Monday.
"We have recently renamed Hyderabad-Karnataka region as Kalyana Karnataka. We have now decided to rename Mumbai-Karnataka region as 'Kittur Karnataka' in the coming days," the Chief Minister announced during the Karnataka Rajyotsava, which is celebrated to commemorate the formation of Karnataka state 65 years ago.
The Chief Minister was apparently referring to the repeated claims made by Maharashtra politicians demanding the merger of Belagavi district and a few border regions of Karnataka with Maharashtra owing to the presence of substantial Marathi speaking population.
He also said that a decision to this effect will be taken in the upcoming cabinet meeting.
Explaining the reason behind naming the cluster of districts in North Karnataka as Kittur-Karnataka region, Bommai said, "After the unification of Karnataka, our border disputes started and it has been settled but yet we hear the quarrels taking place.
Is there any meaning to still call it Mumbai-Karnataka region when so many things are happening? What is the point in calling it Mumbai-Karnataka?"
He argued that the changes in the region should have happened in 1956 when the State Reorganisation Act came into effect.
Stating that mere renaming is not sufficient until the standard of living of the people in that region improves and development takes place, Bommai said the regional imbalance and disparities should also go and all the regions should grow together.
The Chief Minister said his government is making efforts in to end regional disparity with a vow not to leave any region in the state underdeveloped.
"We are also committed to prepare an action plan for the development of 'Kittur Karnataka region'," Bommai said.
He also told the gathering that the funds for the Kalyana Karnataka region bordering Telangana will be doubled in the next budget and Rs 3,000 crore will be allocated for the purpose.
Speaking about the Kannada Rajyotsava, Bommai said the COVID-19 situation compelled the government to organise the event in a restricted way but the pandemic could not reduce the government's respect and love for Kannada.
Bommai claimed that the 21st century is about the importance, objectives, and self-esteem of Kannada.
Going into the history of Kannada and Kannadigas, the Chief Minister said, there were Kannadiga rulers who ruled the neighbouring states such as Kadamba, Chalukya, and Vijayanagara empire.
Bommai said Kannada displayed its unique internal strength to survive even in the face of onslaught by foreign invaders.
"Even when rulers from other regions took reins here, Kannada managed to save itself. The language withstood the attacks of foreign forces and is standing firm. It was possible because it has got its own internal strength, which we should never forget. No force can ever destroy Kannada," the Chief Minister said.
The Chief Minister said the government has given utmost importance to Kannada making the language compulsory in the higher education under the new National Education Policy.
He also said that his government has made efforts to teach engineering in Kannada medium.
Bommai emphasised that his government wants that the Kannadigas should get up to 75 per cent jobs in jobs in government, private and semi-government industries in Karnataka.
Earlier, the Chief Minister offered his obeisance to Bhuvaneshwari Devi, the mother Goddess of Karnataka and hoisted the Kannada flag along with the national tricolour at the Kanteerava Stadium.
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