Special Correspondent

Bangalore: Led by Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa and his Council of Ministers, 300 State, including the 75 members of the Legislative Council, are likely to stage a dharna in New Delhi, tentatively on Friday, to draw the attention of the Union Government to the demands of the State.

The Chief Minister told presspersons here on Monday that the State was being discriminated against on all fronts, and the demands of the State had been ignored. “We are compelled to stage a dharna in Delhi, be it near Parliament House, the Prime Minister’s office or residence or even at Rajghat.”

Mr. Yeddyurappa said the dharna would be staged if Prime Minister Manmohan Singh did not meet the elected representatives of the State in a group. “I am writing a letter to the Prime Minister today seeking an appointment to meet all the elected representatives together.”

Sources in the Government said that since the Prime Minister’s office permits only a small group of representatives to meet the Prime Minister, the dharna would be gone ahead with.

The Chief Minister said the State was not receiving grants and funds from the Centre as envisaged. As a result most of the developmental activities in which the Centre had a share had been hit.

Flood relief

Similar was the case with release of grants and support for the flood-hit and the drought-stricken areas. The representations made by the State had not yielded any response so far, he said.

Karnataka has also been seeking an amendment to Article 371 for special status to the Hyderabad Karnataka region, which has been identified as the most backward area.

An amendment to Article 371 will enable the people of the region to enjoy certain benefits in employment and education. The State has also been seeking classical language status for Kannada, and this demand has been pending before the Centre since 1978.

The Chief Minister is expected to write to the leaders of all political parties seeking their support. “This programme concerns the interests of the State and not any political party. I am sure the Opposition parties will cooperate. Even if they do not, we will go ahead with the programme.”

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