Mysuru: Hitting out at opposition BJP leaders for going vocal on the demand for a separate North Karnataka state, former chief minister Siddaramaiah said the saffron party does not have any right to seek this as the BJP led NDA government's contribution to the region's development is “zero”. “Now some BJP leaders are supporting the demand for a separate state. How far is this right?” he asked.
“Those who do not know about the movement for a unified ‘Akhanda Karnataka’ in the 1950s are demanding a state,” he said at a meeting in Mysuru. The Congress leader said, “When I was CM, I gave a lot of money for development of the region. What was their (BJP leaders including former minister Umesh Katti’s) contribution when in power?”
He added, “Mr Advani (BJP patriarch) had said it was not possible to implement Section 371 to give special status to Hyderabad Karnataka. But we implemented it. I used to give a fund of Rs 6,500 crore to six districts of Hyderabad Karnataka every year. After the Nanjundappa Commission report on regional imbalance stated that more taluks in North Karnataka were backward. we provided funds to set this right,” Mr Siddaramaiah added. Molalkalmuru BJP MLA B. Sriramulu had recently announced support for the bandh call given by some outfits on August 2, demanding statehood but later retracted his statement.