Staff Reporter

BANGALORE: Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa on Thursday urged the Union Government to accord classical language status to Kannada before the commencement of World Kannada Sammelan at Belgaum, and threatened to launch a movement in this regard.

Speaking here after launching “Karnataka Taxis,” operated by the Karnataka State Tourism Development Corporation (KSTDC), the Chief Minister said: “We are hurt at the delay in according classical language status to Kannada. We may have to start an andolan to get the status before the World Kannada Sammelan.”

Stating the Government was committed to tourism improvement, he said that the coming Kannada Rajyotsava, Hampi Utsav and Kittur Utsav would be celebrated in a grand manner. “We want tourists to appreciate every utsavs that are conducted here,” he added.

Bharat Ratna

Later, speaking to presspersons on the sidelines, he said that the Government will be sending a proposal seeking Bharath Ratna to Siddaganga seer Shivakumar Swamiji. While proposal seeking the highest award to the seer had been sent twice, the Government would send the third proposal to the Union Government shortly. “The onus is not only on us, but also on the Opposition parties to impress upon the Union Government to bestow the honour on the seer,” he added.

More taxis

Earlier, Tourism Minister G. Janardhan Reddy said that another 100 taxis would be added to the fleet of Karnataka Taxis, and their strength eventually scaled up to 500.

Karnataka Taxis, with a fleet of 100 cars, would provide taxi services to and from the Bengaluru International Airport. Those wishing to make a booking for the service from the City can make use of the call centre on 42525555. Two Volvo coaches were also flagged off on the occasion.

Health Minister Sriramulu and a host of senior officials from Karnataka State Tourism Development Corporation (KSTDC) and Tourism Department were present.