Special Correspondent

Vatal Paksha to place demand before Prime Minister

BANGALORE: Starting from November 1, 2007 to November 1, 2008, it will be Kannada Ulisi Year, according to the Kannada Chaluvali Vatal Paksha president Vatal Nagaraj. As part of the event, the paksha will place a demand before the Prime Minister to accord the status of classical language on Kannada.

He also warned that his party would launch a hunger strike in front of the residence of the Prime Minister on November 10, if the Government did not confer the status on Kannada.

Mr. Nagaraj told a press conference here on Friday that the governments that ruled the State for the last 50 years had failed in protecting the interests of Kannadigas and Kannada.

Despite the governments having three reports — Mahajan report, Mahishi report and another one given by himself (Vatal Nagaraj report on Gadinadu Kannadigas) —, they had done nothing to implement them. He said it was a disgrace that the Government had forced him to tear his own report on the floor of the House.

He said that the State had over 2 crore migrants and there were 2.5 crore Kannadigas in the border areas in Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala. The number of Kannadigas was going down steadily, he added.

In places such as Talawadi, Arkalkote and Kasargod, Kannadigas were not being treated well and the Government should integrate these areas into the State’s territory by implementing the recommendations of the Mahajan Commission, he said.

Mr. Nagaraj said the Government has neglected the issue of connectivity in the border areas.

He cited the Chamarajnagar-Mettupalayam rail line that has not been completed and the Mangalore-Bangalore rail line which is yet to be commissioned for passenger traffic.

As part of Rajyotsava on November 1, the paksha will hold a colourful procession in Bangalore and also launch a month-long cultural programme at the Nrupatunga Mantapa.