Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy on Tuesday warned that media would be held responsible if anything went wrong in the North Karnataka statehood protests in future.
“You, the media, are adding fuel to fire for no reason. People of North Karnataka are with the government. If anything happens, you (media) will be responsible,” Kumaraswamy said.
Kumaraswamy’s statement comes days after Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLA B Sriramulu, during the budget discussion, threatened to not only lead the agitation but intensify it if the government continued to neglect the region.
Expressing his annoyance with the media for dubbing him a Chief Minister of four districts, Kumaraswamy asserted that if he has given only a small amount of over 500 crore to the four districts out of a huge state budget of more than Rs 2 lakh crore then how could he be ridiculed. He said, “You (media) keep referring to me as Chief Minister of only four districts. Out of a budget of Rs 2, 18,000 crore, I have given only Rs 514 crore to four districts. What is the big deal!”
The issue over separate statehood for North Karnataka has raised a storm following the Uttara Karnataka Pratyeka Rajya Horata Samiti, spearheading the demand for a separate state, announced a day-long bandh in 13 districts of the region on August 2.
Meanwhile, Karnataka BJP president B S Yeddyurappa has accused Kumaraswamy of playing politics of divide and rule in the state.
“Kumaraswamy is playing politics of divide and rule. Unfortunately, he is working only for 37 Janata Dal (Secular) MLA seats, not as the Chief Minister of the entire Karnataka. Kumaraswamy’s injustice to different parts of Karnataka and especially North Karnataka has created agitation,” Yeddyurappa said while addressing the media.
Sriramulu also claimed that the Kumaraswamy government was ignoring North Karnataka and practicing the politics of partiality. The growing demand of separate statehood came after leaders accused the ruling coalition of doing injustice to the region in the same budget.