BENGALURU: The countdown to demonstrate one’s patriotism has begun, and already run into opposition from rival party MLAs, who claim they are being asked to buy the Tricolour and resell it.
In Karnataka, MLAs have been contacted by district administration authorities and told to pick up flags at Rs 20 per flag. Dharwad MP and Union Minister Pralhad Joshi said it is an occasion of pride. “Post offices are celebrating the spirit of freedom on the occasion of Independence Day by selling the National Flag at Rs 25, without delivery charges. So Bharatvaasis, get our pride, our Tiranga online via ePost office portal.’’
Karnataka’s World Heritage Site Hampi, on the banks of the Tungabhadra, along with the Virupaksha temple and stone chariot, are draped in the colours of the flag. Opposition legislators and leaders want to know why the flags cannot be distributed free, and the desire to express patriotism be made more equitable. KPCC president DK Shivakumar said, “Why cannot it be given free to the people? The price of rice in ration shops is also subsidised at Rs 25 per kg.”
Opposition leader in the Council B K Hariprasad wanted to know why the movie, Kashmir Files, was screened free for the public, and tickets were made available to people in many places. Why cannot the government provide flags free so that everyone can express their patriotism. It’s priced at Rs 20, some of the poorest may not be able to afford it.’’
Congress media cell chairman Priyank Kharge said, “The district administration office asked me to collect 20,000 flags by paying Rs 4,40,000 for the government’s ‘Har Ghar Tiranga’ campaign. Taluk offices are being forced to buy, and in turn, sell faulty flags to people.’’ One former Congress MLC said, “This is a trap the ruling party has set for the Opposition, with religious issues like hijab and so on. The Congress needs to tread cautiously so it’s not seen as unpatriotic by a gullible public.’’
Flags available for `12, says MLA
Kunigal MLA Dr Ranganath Dodaiah said the district administration offers flags at C20 per flag, though they are available for Rs Cper flag. “I purchased 10,000 flags. I started a 15-day padyatra for the 75th Independence Day and covered 200 villages in my constituency, where I distributed the flags free of cost,” he said.