In the backdrop of the protests in Bengaluru over the use of Hindi language in Karnataka, state Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Friday deemed the Centre’s stand of using the three-language-formula as ‘not reasonable’. Chief Minister Siddaramaiah requested the Centre to acknowledge the cultural aspirations of the people of Karnataka. He also urged the Centre to look into the practical utility of Kannada and English languages for signages in Namma Metro. Siddaramaiah wrote to Urban Development Minister Narendra Singh Tomar over Hindi signages in Namma Metro.
Meanwhile, a pro-Kannada organisation protested in Bengaluru on Friday, demanding reservation for Kannadigas in the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd (BMRCL) and also asked for the transfer of Hindi speaking engineers from the engineering department of the BMRCL.
The protests come at the backdrop of Kannada Development Authority (KDA) asking the state government, earlier this week, to issue instructions to BMRCL to give Kannada-speaking people the first priority, according to a report by TOI.
On Thursday, KDA Chairman SG Siddaramaiah in letters to Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, Chief Secretary Subhash Chandra Khuntia and Additional Chief Secretary (Urban Development) Mahendra Jain had asked the State Government to issue the required instructions to BMRCL to give Kannada first priority. Earlier this week, KDA had inspected the BMRCL and took up the issues, including employment of non-Kannadigas in the engineering department of the BMRCL.
According to TOI, Siddaramaiah’s letter reads, “There are seven chief engineers in the BMRCL who are non-Kannadigas. Karnataka has the highest number of engineering colleges in the country and we have a lot of qualified Kannadigas to do the job. The hiring of so many non-Kannadigas is in ‘violation’ of the Sarojini Mahishi report. As a first step the government must ensure that these (non-Kannadiga) engineers are relieved from their jobs.”