Can Belagavi be se­cond cap­i­tal of Kar­nataka? Sources in­di­cated that chief min­is­ter’s an­nounce­ment could come about dur­ing the win­ter ses­sion of the leg­is­la­ture, com­menc­ing in the bor­der city on Mon­day. Top sources said the prospect of a se­cond cap­i­tal w

Deccan Chronicle - - Nation - DC COR­RE­SPON­DENTS

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.

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