Opposing any move to divide Karnataka, former prime minister and JDS supremo HD Deve Gowda today appealed to the people of north Karnataka not to get provoked by the BJP, and said the demand for a separate statehood for the region will not be met during his or his son and Chief Minister HD Kumarswamy's lifetime.
Mr Gowda's remarks came on a day the Uttara Karnataka Pratyeka Rajya Horata Samiti, a committee fighting for a separate statehood to north Karnataka, called a day-long bandh in 13 districts.
"No injustice has been meted out to north Karnataka in allotment of funds in the state budget," he said and hit out at BJP state president BS Yeddyurappa for trying to create unrest through "malicious propaganda".
"The provocation made by Yeddyurappa will not come true. We will take care of it...If some people demand a separate north Karnataka, I want to tell them it will not happen, not during my lifetime and not during my son's lifetime," he told PTI in an interview.
He alleged that the BJP state president is "provoking" people of north Karnataka, as his "anger has not cooled down" after failing to form the government despite winning substantial seats.
Mr Gowda further alleged that the former chief minister has started "intimidating" people on the farm loan waiver, state budget and other issues, with the sole motive to create unrest.
The former prime minister said many leaders have made sacrifices for the unification of the state and appealed to people not fall prey to provocation and to "trust the current government".
HD Kumaraswamy has already ordered the shifting of some key government departments to the Suvarna Vidhana Soudha, the secretariat building in Belagavi, Mr Gowda added.
The Samiti gave the bandh call to press for statehood for the region, alleging that successive governments discriminated against it.
The Samiti leaders have also alleged discrimination in the allocation towards the region in the budget presented by Mr Kumaraswamy on July 5 and also inadequate representation in the cabinet.