Now, Katti wants separate North Karnataka state

Agriculture Minister Umesh V Katti, on the eve of the inauguration of Suvarna Soudha in Belgaum, said on Thursday that he hoped to see the district either as the second capital of Karnataka or as the capital of an entirely new state - North Karnataka.

The Belgaum district in-charge minister said the formation of a new state comprising the North Karnataka districts would mitigate the problems faced by the people of the region. “There are sufficient indications that by the year 2020, our country will have an additional 50 states. It wouldn’t be a big surprise if Belgaum is named the capital of one such state,” he said. He said Bangalore had seen enough development and it was time for the other regions to grow.

Endorsing Katti’s suggestions, Congress MLA Feroz Sait, who presents Belgaum North in the Assembly, said a “smaller state” would mean more opportunities to the people. “If all the North Karnataka districts were to be clubbed and brought under one state, it would be good. The construction of the Soudha is an indication that we are moving ahead in that direction,” he told Deccan Herald.  Katti said the government would hold the legislature session at the new Soudha twice a year, apart from asking the various legislature committees to hold monthly meetings in the Belgaum secretariat.

Tight security

Tight security arrangements have been made in and around the Suvarna Soudha, which will be dedicated to the nation by the President Pranab Mukherjee in Belgaum on Thursday.

“We have deployed enough forces to thwart any attempt to create violence. Our cops will not allow miscreants to take law into their hands,” Home Minister Ashoka said.

On the possibility of Maharashtra Ekikaran Samiti activists showing black flags to the President, Ashoka said, “Such incidents will not happen as our cops will be all over the venue. Maharashtra is unnecessarily raking up the border issue. It’s a closed chapter for us. The Mahajan Commission report is final.”

Winter session in Belgaum

The Karnataka government is planning to hold the winter session of the legislature at Suvarna Soudha either in November or in the first week of December.

Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar said in Bangalore on Wednesday that the dream of North Karnataka people to have a second secretariat will come true with the inauguration of the Soudha. “It is a big step towards development of the North Karnataka region,” he said.

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