Bengaluru: Will Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy announce the border city of Belagavi as the state’s second capital to help his party regain support in north Karnataka?
Official sources indicated that his announcement could come about during the winter session of the legislature, commencing in the border city on Monday.
The first move, however, occurred a couple of months ago when he spoke of shifting certain departments and staff to Suvarna Vidhana Soudha as well as spending copious sums for development in order to counter criticism that his first budget had precious little for north Karnataka.
Second, it would help him take the wind out of the sails of Opposition BJP and sugarcane farmers from the border district, during the legislature session.
While BJP leaders have threatened to highlight the plight of sugarcane farmers during the forthcoming legislature session, these farmers have embarrassed the government with their protests in Belagavi and Bengaluru.
Top sources said the prospect of a second capital was mere ‘loud thinking’ at this juncture but the chief minister would go ahead with the announcement in a bid to garner the support of legislators and local people.
The top brass in the state government are wary of the fact that it would lack legal sanctity as the Constitution does not permit a second capital for Karnataka.
A BJP leader hailing from Belagavi felt the move would not even help the Vokkaliga-backed JD (S) attract more votes particularly from the rival Lingayat caste which is numerically dominant here—during next year’s Lok Sabha elections as voting, by and large, is decided on factors such as caste and clout of local politicians.