In a move that is sure to give the Kannada pride agenda a boost ahead of Karnataka Assembly Elections 2018, Karnataka cabinet has approved a new State flag. Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Thursday unveiled the new Karnataka State Flag- a yellow, white and red combination with the state emblem at the centre.
Kannada language, flag and pride came to be Siddaramaiah's game-changing agenda against the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in poll-bound Karnataka. Push for a separate state flag helped the Congress win over pro-Kannada organisations and Kannada voters and propel the image of BJP as a pro-Hindu party ahead of the elections. The state flag unveiled on Thursday will be sent for Union Home Ministry's approval after which it will be made official.
"This is the new Karnataka State flag but an official announcement will be made only after the union government approves the same. There will be no legal hassles and no norms will be violated. The State Flag will be hosted below the National Flag," Siddaramaiah said while unveiling the flag during a meeting with representatives of pro-Kannada organisations.
The Karnataka chief minister had formed a committee in 2017 to look into the design as well as legal aspects of having a separate flag for Karnataka. The new flag is likely to take the Congress' Kannada pride strategy a level higher ahead of Karnataka Assembly Elections 2018.
The proposed flag will now be sent for approval to the Union Home Ministry effectively putting the ball in BJP's court. With the unveiling of the flag, the Congress can claim to have pushed for Kannada pride while putting the onus on the BJP to ensure clearance. Kannada pride has come to be an important agenda to further the 'insider versus the outsider" fight between Siddaramaiah and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.