Bengaluru: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) unit of Karnataka on Wednesday said it was not opposed to a separate state flag but flayed Chief Minister Siddaramaiah's 'unilateral decision' to form a panel on the issue without consulting the opposition leaders.
"Our party is not opposed to Karnataka having a separate flag. Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has taken a unilateral decision without consulting Opposition leaders," state BJP president BS Yeddyurappa said.
He, however, also toed the "one nation, one flag" stand of the BJP's central leadership.
There is no provision in the Constitution for any state to have its separate flag. We are one nation, one flag," he added.
Asked if Siddaramaiah is politicising the issue ahead of 2018 assembly elections, Yeddyurappa said, "That is for everyone to see. I need not tell."
Siddaramaiah had brushed aside the criticism on Tuesday by saying that the elections were scheduled next year, not in immediate future, and hence it was a baseless allegation and a ploy to politicise the issue.
He had also dared BJP to make a statement opposing the separate state flag.
"Did the BJP say they do not want flag for Karnataka state? Let them make a statement that they do not want a flag for Karnataka. The BJP people always level such false allegation," he had said.
The Congress government has set up a nine-member panel to examine the legality of a separate state flag and designing it. The move has sparked a row.
If Karnataka eventually decides to have a separate flag for it, it would be the second state to have its official flag after Jammu and Kashmir, which enjoys a special status under the Article 370 of the Constitution.
A Union home ministry official had on Tuesday said in New Delhi there was no legal bar on a state having a separate flag but it represents people and not the government and insisted India as a nation has only one flag.
Earlier, Yeddyurappa led a protest by the party workers against the transfer of D Roopa as DIG (Prisons) after she brought to light the alleged irregularities, including 'preferential' treatment to AIADMK (Amma) chief VK Sasikala, serving her sentence in the Parapana Agrahara prison here.
In a four-page report submitted on July 12 to erstwhile DGP (Prisons) H N Sathyanarayana Rao, Roopa had said a special kitchen was functioning in the central prison for Sasikala in violation of the rules.
She had said in the report to Rao that there was "a talk" that Rs two crore had exchanged hands and that there were allegations against him (Rao) as well.
Both the officials have been shunted out of their respective posts by the state government, which has already ordered a probe into the charges, after they were locked in a bitter public spat....