<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Union minister Rajiv Pratap Rudy said he knew of only the national flag and cannot comprehend the Karnataka government’s plan to have a separate flag for the state. “I do not know what it means. We all agree with one Constitution and one national flag. I do not know of any other flag. The country cannot think of any other flag,” he told reporters here.BJP leader was replying to a question on Karnataka government’s move of setting up a nine-member committee to examine the legality and desirability of having and designing a separate flag for the stateThe minister said there were flags for Army, Navy and Air Force, but that he was not aware of a state flag. The Karnataka government has initiated a move for having a separate flag for the state, sparking a row today but Chief Minister Siddaramaiah stoutly defended the step.As the move by the Congress government to set up a panel for this purpose ahead of the state Assembly polls due next year came under attack, the Centre made it clear there is no provision in the Constitution for a separate flag for any state and that the tricolour is the only flag for India.A nine-member committee has been formed by the state government and tasked with submitting a report on designing a separate flag for the state and providing a legal standing for it, an official said in Bengaluru today.If the flag comes into being, Karnataka will be the second state to have its official flag after Jammu and Kashmir, which enjoys a special status under Article 370 of the Constitution.The committee, headed by the principal secretary, Department of Kannada and Culture, was set up last month following a representation from noted Kannada writer and journalist Patil Puttappa, and social worker Bheemappa Gundappa Gadada.Puttappa and Gadada in their representation had requested the government to design a separate flag for ‘Kannada Naadu’ and accord it legal standing.The panel comprises secretaries to the departments of Personnel and Administrative Services, Home, Law and Parliamentary Affairs, as also president of Kannada Sahitya Parishat, chairman of Kannada Development Authority, and vice-chancellor of Kannada University, Hampi, as its members.The Director of Department of Kannada and Culture will be the member-secretary of the committee.”We are one nation, one flag. Legally there is no provision either for providing or prohibiting a separate flag for any state,” a union home ministry spokesperson said in Delhi.Home ministry officials said Karnataka already has a flag which represents only the “people and not the government”.That flag is not used in national ceremonies like Republic Day or Independence Day but on occasions like state foundation day, the officials said.Asked about the panel by reporters today, Siddaramaiah sought to know if there was any provision in the Constitution which prohibits the state from having its own flag.”Is there any provision in the Constitution? Have you come across any provision in the Constitution? Did BJP people come across the provision? Then why they are raising?” he said defending the move.On taking the step ahead of 2018 state assembly polls, he said, “Election will be in the month of April-May not now, not tomorrow, not next month.”Hitting out at the BJP, Siddaramaiah said, “Did BJP people say they do not want flag for Karnataka state? Let them make a statement that ‘we do not want flag for Karnataka state’. The BJP people always level such a false allegation.”Union Minister and BJP leader Rajiv Pratap Rudy said he only knew of the national flag and could not comprehend the Karnataka government’s plan for a separate state flag.”I do not know what it means. We all agree with one Constitution and one national flag. I do not know of any other flag. The country cannot think of any other flag,” he told reporters in Thiruvananthapuram.Condemning the move, Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut demanded imposition of President’s rule in Karnataka.Raut contended that the state government’s demand is “anti-constitutional and against the nation’s integrity.” “I think it is anti-constitutional for a state to make such a demand in a federal structure and is against the national integrity. Such a government should be immediately dismissed and President’s rule be imposed there,” he told reporters in Delhi.The un-official but widely seen red and yellow ‘Kannada flag’ that is hoisted across the state on November one every year to commemorate the state formation day and used in the form of a scarf by Kannada activists was designed by Veera Senani Ma.Ramamurthy in the 1960s.The Siddaramaiah government’s move to form a committee is being considered as a departure from the stand taken by the earlier BJP government.The Sadananda Gowda-led BJP government in 2012 had informed the Karnataka High Court that it has not accepted the suggestions to declare the bi-colour Kannada flag as the state’s official flag, as having a separate flag would be “against the unity and integrity of the country.
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