Exclusive: Constitution does not prohibit state from having a flag — Siddaramaiah

In an exclusive interview to ThePrint, Karnataka chief minister says state flag will not affect sovereignty of India. Accuses BJP of seeing everything from a political angle. 

Anubhuti Vishnoi in Bengaluru

Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah came out in strong defence of his government’s decision to form a panel to examine the possibility of having a separate flag for the state, emphasising  that the Constitution does not bar a state from having its own flag.

Speaking to ThePrint in an exclusive interview amid an uproar over the move, Siddaramaiah went on to elaborate that if a state could have its own anthem and emblem, then a flag does not challenge national sovereignty.

“Karnataka has its own state anthem, state emblem, has it affected co-operative federalism? A state flag will also not affect the sovereignty of India. The national flag will always be on top, the state flag can be below it,” the chief minister said. “My personal view as an advocate is that in the Constitution there is no provision that prohibits states from having their own flag.”

The CM also rejected the BJP’s allegations of the move being “anti-national” and referred to the Modi government’s constant emphasis on “cooperative federalism”.

“BJP sees everything from a political angle. Many Kannada activists and writers made representations to us on a separate state flag. I then constituted a committee on it. We haven’t yet taken a decision on it. We will examine its report and decide,” Siddaramaiah said, referring to a nine-member panel that was formed in June.

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