BSY asks migrants to be good Kannadigas

Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa. (PTI Photo)

The newly minted Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa presented the public with the image of a “man of action” by proclaiming that he would work to build the state into a Kannada-centric powerhouse, during an address at Independence Day celebrations in Bengaluru on Thursday.

Like prodigal, returning titan, he alighted the dias just as an Indian Air Force Dhruv Helicopter buzzed the Sam Manekshaw Parade Grounds in central Bengaluru, dousing the chief minister and the press contingent with a cloud of artificial magenta-color flower petals.

Once the aircraft had gone, Yeddyurappa went full-swing into his speech, which began to revolve around a mantra of what he described as continued development of the state and his intention to turn Bengaluru into India’s version of the Silicon Valley. 

“Our Bengaluru should also be developed like California and San Francisco’s Silicon Valley,” he said, promising that the ease of doing business in the state would be amped up from what he claimed was 98% to 100%.

However, the crux of his speech involved what he described as the government’s sustained efforts to fulfil Gandhi’s vision of Ram Rajya, the Mahatma’s vision of utopia revolving around justice, respect and non-coercion, although he said that the government’s focus was on development.

With the state’s 2014-19 industrial policy set to expire in September, he said that it will be replaced with a new policy to boost development in backward areas, plus Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities, to help spread out development outside Bengaluru.

Admitting that the state’s development had drawn a great influx of people from other states, he called on those “who have migrated” to Karnataka to adapt to the Kannada culture, lifestyle and language, but without compromising their own identity.

“There has been an increasing clamour that the employment representations of Kannadigas in jobs in the state on the decline. It is our established and stated stand that Kannadigas must get a lion’s share of the jobs available in Karnataka,” he said.

He further clarified that under the federal structure, we are ready to offer equal opportunities to all those seeking employment opportunities in the state.”

The chief minister’s statements were possibly prompted by a protest on Wednesday by pro-Kannada activists who had demanded greater representation for Kannadigas in the state economy. 

Yeddyurappa held up Kannadigas as a paradigm for those moving to the state describing them as taking pains to integrate into whichever society they go. 

“In this regard, Kannadigas lead by example. Wherever they go and settle, they blend seamlessly with the country or town of adoption. That is worth emulating,” he said.

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