New Delhi, March 21 (IANS) Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa and several leaders from the state, including Law Minister M. Veerappa Moily, Monday asked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to grant special status to five north Karnataka districts to speed up development of the area.
The districts are Gulbarga, Bidar, Raichur, Koppal and Bellary. The area is known as ‘Hyderabad-Karnatak region’ and was part of the Hyderabad Nizam’s rule. It became part of Karnataka in 1956 when the Indian states were reorganised on the basis of language.
Yeddyurappa led an all-party delegation to the prime minister following a recent statement of union Home Minister P. Chidambaram rejecting grant of special status to Hyderabad-Karnatak region.
Besides Moily, Yeddyurappa was accompanied by union ministers Mallikarjun Kharge (Labour), who represents Gulbarga in the Lok Sabha, and leaders of the Congress and Janata Dal-Secular in the state legislature and several state ministers.
The Karnataka government and people of the region have been demanding special status under Article 371 of the constitution, which provides for higher central assistance to speed up development of backward areas in the country.
The delegation also sought central assistance to help silk growers and arecanut farmers as prices of these two commodities had declined steeply.
After the meeting, Yeddyurappa told reporters that the prime minister had assured the delegation he would consider the requests.