'Sonia should intervene for special status for Kannada': Congmen

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New Delhi, Jul 7 (UNI) Congress leaders from Karnataka today met party president Sonia Gandhi and Union Culture Minister Ambika Soni to intevene and accord Classical Language status to Kannada as the language fufilled all the parameters prescribed.

The leaders led by Karnataka Pradesh Congress president M Mallikarjuna Kharge met Mrs Gandhi and Mrs Soni, providing them copies of the documentary evidences to back the claim for declaring Kannada as Classical Language.

The leaders were told that panel of experts will be meeting on August 8 to consider the demand of Kannada and its sister language Telugu which too is vying for the same status with a proven linguistic antiquity dating back 2000 years.

The Congress leaders also sought amending Article 371 of the Constitution providing region based reservation for education and employment on the lines of the Telangana model for Hyderabad Karnataka region. Mrs Gandhi assured the Congress leaders that the government was seized of the demand.

The issue of elected MLAs deserting the party did figure in the discussions with the Central leaders. The party appears to be in a fix since the resignation from their seats could not be objected except on the ground that they had abdicated their responsibilities within a month of their election. The partymen, however, have urged the Central leadership to take a serious view of the allurements offered by the ruling BJP that they would get huge funds for development of their constituencies, which is tantamount to discrimination of voters belonging to ruling party and opposition.

During the last two days, the leaders numbering around 30 have met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Home Minister Shivraj Patil, Urban Development Minister S Jaipal Reddy seeking their support for their demands.

The Congress was not part of the All Party Delegation led by Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa and hence have resorted to taking an alternate delegation to New Delhi in support of the demand.


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