A day after Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah challenged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to approve the Kannada flag, the Ministry of Home Affairs said that it has been put on hold due to the election code of conduct.

Confirming that a request for a separate flag was received from the Karnataka government, an MHA official said that the consideration has been put on hold.

“The request for a separate flag was received from Karnataka. Since the election code of conduct has come into force, the consideration has been put on hold,” the spokesperson said.

On Monday, a day before PM Modi’s visit to the poll-bound state, Siddaramaiah took to Twitter whether the PM would accept the state flag now that he had “declared himself a Kannadiga”.

“Congratulations to Prime Minister Narendra Modi who has declared himself a Kannadiga. Becoming Kannadiga means accepting Kannada language, naada geete (state anthem), naadadwaja (state flag),” he said in a tweet in Kannada.

“Will you become true Kannadiga by giving approval to Karnataka’s nada dwaja? #AnswerMadiModi,” Siddaramaiah added.

 

He also asked if the PM will resolve the Mahadai water dispute and whether the Kannadigas will be allowed to write in Kannada in bank entrance examinations.

 

On 8 March, the CM had approved the flag for the state designed as per the recommendations of a committee headed by eminent Kannada writer Hampa Nagarajaiah.

The new flag, called ‘Naada Dhwaja’ in Kannada, has white stripe in between two stripes of colours yellow and red. ‘Ganda Bherunda’, the state emblem of Karnataka, is in the centre. The emblem is based on the emblem of the kingdom of Mysore.

Siddaramaiah had in July 2017 formed the committee under Nagarajaiah to come up with a design for the official state flag.

Hailing the new flag, Siddaramaiah tweeted that Kannada organisations have “endorsed” the historic decision of the state government and accepted the new flag.

Read More: Siddaramaiah unveils new Karnataka flag

Since a separate state flag requires the approval of the Centre, Siddaramaiah said that his government will send a proposal to New Delhi after the state Cabinet approves of the flag.

He defended Karnataka’s flag on the ground that the Constitution does not bar state flags and all states can have their own flags.