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Name change brings little else to Kalyana Karnataka

Today marks the first anniversary of the renaming of the Hyderabad Karnataka region

Renaming Hyderabad Karnataka – the region comprising six north-eastern districts of the State – as Kalyana Karnataka a year ago is often projected as a milestone in the region’s history. It is also used by the BJP as a counterweight to the fact that it was during the Congress regime that the region got Special Status with the insertion of Article 371(J) of the Constitution in 2002.

Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa did not only proclaimed the region as Kalyana Karnataka on September 17, 2019, on Kalyana Karnataka Utsav Day (which was earlier celebrated as Hyderabad Karnataka Liberation Day), he also made several promises as a gesture of his government’s commitment to the development of the region.

“I will establish a separate secretariat for the effective implementation of Article 371(J) of the Constitution. I will open a branch office of the Hyderabad Karnataka Special Cell in Kalaburagi. I will increase the special grants to KKRDB [Kalyana Karnataka Regional Development Board] in the next budget. I will take measures to fill the 10,748 posts lying vacant in the region so that the local unemployed youth can get the job,” Mr. Yediyurappa had then said.

Now, one year down the line, none of the promises are fulfilled, while he is set to hoist the national flag in Kalaburagi to mark the Kalyana Karnataka Utsav on Thursday. The government has not allocated the additional funds for the project that is estimated to cost around ₹200 crore but asked the KKRDB to use money from the special grants allocated for the implementation special status under Article 371(J) of the Constitution.

According to the Chittapur MLA and former Minister Priyank Kharge, “The BJP government is systematically undermining the existing systems in place for the region. For example, the post of KKRDB chairman was earlier meant for only the Cabinet Minister from the region and is now downgraded to be assumed by MLA or party worker. BJP had promised to increase the special grants for the region from ₹1,500 crore to ₹2,000 crore. But, now it has directed KKRDB to prepare action plans only for around ₹1100 crore. The government has ₹120 crore to build Kannada Bhavan in Delhi and ₹200 crore to build a community hall in Tirupati, but it doesn’t have money for the development of Kalyana Karnataka,” he said.

‘No moral right’

Razak Ustaad, an activist from Raichur who was in the forefront of the mass agitations for the Article 371(J), said that Mr. Yediyurappa had no moral right to hoist the national flag to mark Kalyana Karnataka Ustav Day as he did not fulfil even a single promise he had made a year ago.

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