Bengaluru: Senior BJP minister in Karnataka Umesh Katti has reignited an old and controversial demand by saying that the state will be divided into two soon after Narendra Modi returns to power after the 2024 elections.
He also said that Modi has plans to create 50 new states for better administration.
Katti, who is Food and Civil Supplies Minister, said: “It is not our party's stand but it should definitely happen this time. Let us all unite and make this happen. After the upcoming 2024 elections, PM Modi will return to power. Maharashtra will be divided into two, Karnataka will also be divided into two, and Uttar Pradesh will be divided into four. There are talks to create 50 states in total. Uttar Kannada should become a separate state," he added.
“We all need to create a movement for a separate state of North Karnataka and there should be no doubts that the new state will come into existence. Bengaluru has reached a saturation point with problems like traffic and other problems,” Katti said while addressing an event organised by Belagavi Bar Association.
For a long time, political leaders have been demanding a separate state comprising the northern regions and want to end the dominance of the South.
Though northern Karnataka has a bigger land mass, most of Karnataka’s politics and the focus is on the southern districts.
Successive governments have also focused more on Bengaluru, which has expanded rapidly leading to other parts of the state like Kittur-Karnataka and Kalyana-Karnataka lagging behind.
However, most of Karnataka’s growth is powered by Bengaluru, which contributes over half of the state’s gross domestic product.
Katti said that Belagavi has the Suvarna Vidhana Soudha, a high court bench and an international airport is being proposed to come up at Kittur which will help the region.
The BJP draws its political support from north Karnataka that is dominated by Lingayats.
But not all are in agreement with Katti. “As a minister from the region, he should help develop the northern parts but instead these people are pitting people against each other for personal gains and get a bigger share of corruption. He is dreaming of becoming the CM of this region,” Praveen Shetty, the president of the Karnataka Rakshana Vedike, a pro-Kannada group, told a news channel.