JD(S) leader HD Deve Gowda on Thursday, 29 December, urged Kannadigas to strengthen the Kannada regional party and not to compromise their identity.
He also expressed concern that at a time when the country is celebrating 75 years of independence, Kannadigas still have to fight for their land, water and language.
Calling it a “do-or-die” moment for Kannadigas, the former prime minister said the delay in sorting out the Belagavi border dispute, despite having BJP in power in both the state and the Centre, reflects how the ruling party has treated the issue with indifference.
“Now is the do-or-die moment for Kannadigas. If we have to receive the rightful share of our taxes, if our children have to secure jobs, if we have to safeguard our language and culture from outsiders. If the border row (with Maharashtra) has to be solved, Kannadigas should not compromise our identity and realise the truth that only our own people can understand our pain, and strengthen the Kannada regional party,” Gowda wrote in an open letter addressed to Kannadigas of the state.
“We should safeguard Karnataka from the conflagration of the two national parties,” he added.
The senior leader listed out a few of his contributions as prime minister and chief minister of the state to safeguard the interest of Karnataka, like on the Cauvery and other water issues.
‘National parties creating hindrance‘
Accusing national parties of creating hindrance whenever an effort is made to bring any project for the state, he said, “Till my last breath I will fight for my Kannada people.”
Further noting that as prime minister he had succeeded in solving extremely sensitive issues such as the River Narmada dispute of Gujarat and elections in Kashmir, Gowda said, “But, despite the same party being in power at the Centre and the State, the delay in sorting out the Belagavi border dispute reflects how the ruling party has treated the issue with indifference.”
He said that when the border row was at its peak in 2006, the then chief minister HD Kumaraswamy (Gowda’s son) convened a legislature session to announce Belagavi as the second capital of the state and also laid the foundation stone for Suvarna Vidhana Soudha in Belagavi to convene a legislature session every year.
Gowda said at a time when the country is celebrating 75 years of independence, it is worrying that Kannadigas still have to fight for their land, water and language.
“By imposing Hindi on Kannadigas, by snatching away our share of water, causing a nuisance at our borders, by taking away the jobs of our youth, the national parties and certain organisations are repeatedly trying to oppress Kannadigas,” he alleged.
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