Karnataka ministers lock horns over Bengaluru Metro signage

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Following the Chief Minister's directive, the Kannada Development Authority (KDA) on Tuesday issued a notice to the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd (BMRCL) and sought an explanation why it was using three-language policy.

Meanwhile, activists of a pro-Kannada outfit defaced the name board of a few shops located in a mall here for not bearing Kannada content, close on the heels of a protest against Hindi signages at some Metro stations.

Amid the dispute over Hindi signage at Bengaluru metro, Union Minister DV Sadananda Gowda on Thursday supported the tri-language policy as long as Kannada is given a priority.

Speaking to reporters at a meeting with City Development Minister K.J. George on the sub-urban rail project, Mr. Gowda said that Bengaluru is not limited to Karnataka or India, but is well-known around the world. "It is only central government entities that are required to follow the three-language formula whereas all other establishments should have Kannada and another language, with Kannada in a larger font", the chairperson added.

"We have done this because industries and businesses use land; electricity of Karnataka for profit but they don't want to use Kannada language or give jobs to Kannadigas", Shetty said. Nearly all the people of the country use Hindi.

Therefore, being deemed to be a company of the State, as per policy it should follow the two-language policy - Kannada and English.

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"If the state language is not being respected, then what is the use of a state government?"

A meeting attended by Gowda, George, MP PC Mohan and government representatives on Thursday failed to reach a consensus on the issue - whether Hindi should be used or removed from Metro station signages. "The state government has the right to take the final decision".

"Delhi is imposing Hindi on us all but we have English as a medium of communication along with Kannada so we have no necessity for Hindi", he said. However, BMRCL, refused to comment on why the additional security.

Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah has made it clear that the state would not tolerate any attempt by the Centre to impose Hindi.

An anti-Hindi Twitter campaign called #NammaMetroHindiBeda ('Our Metro, We don't want Hindi'), was launched on July 2, after which the signboards of two metro stations in Bengaluru - Chickpete and Majestic - were covered with paper and taped.

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