The BJP government in the State seems to be in no mood to accord the ‘second capital’ tag to the border town of Belgaum, which has been a long-cherished dream of the people of the district.
Now, Belgaumites have to be satisfied with just being host to the winter sessions of the Legislature.
The government has dropped the idea citing technical reasons.
Should Belgaum be declared the second capital? Several divergent views have been expressed on the issue.
I will pressurize the government to declare Belgaum as the second capital. According second capital status to Belgaum will help development of north Karnataka. All these days development has happened only in and around Bangalore. So it is very essential.
Belgaum has grown tremendously in recent years. It is getting what it wanted. Mini Vidhana Soudha has become a reality with the land being acquired for it. Every year winter session will be held here.
A circuit bench of the High Court has been set up at Dharwad, just about 75 kms away from Belgaum. The city has a host of good educational and medical institutions. Next to Bangalore, Belgaum boasts of providing quality education. The city has an airport which will be expanded soon. Sugar industry is vibrant. A superfast train can be introduced from Belgaum to Hubli.
For me, Belgaum is a ‘happening city’ and I am happy with it. This is exactly what we wanted. A city need not be declared as a capital but it should grow the way a capital should develop. Bangalore is choking with both human and vehicle population. Development has to shift to other cities. Declaring Belgaum as second capital will pave way for similar demand by people of Gulbarga.
In the years to come, the states are bound to be reorganized. The Kolhapur division comprising Sangli, Ratnagiri, Karad, the Belgaum division comprising old Bijapur, Bagalkot, Dharwad, Gadag, Haveri, Karwar, parts of Mangalore and Goa would form a new state with Belgaum as the capital. The population in all cities is growing. The Kolhapur division is far away from Mumbai. Goa is facing elections frequently. Belgaum is growing in a systematic way and it has a mix of people speaking various languages. I am sure that Belgaum will be the ideal choice for a state’s capital.
BJP MLA & Minister
About six years ago during the Kannada Sahitya Sammelan, I had raised the demand to accord second capital status to Belgaum. In fact, the Sammelan had passed a resolution to this effect. Even today I hold the same view.
Some years ago we were forced to assert that Belgaum belongs to Karnataka as the boundary dispute aggravated.
Because of our consistent demand, the government is holding the legislature session for the second time in Belgaum. Officials are now not in a position to ignore Belgaum just because it is far away from the capital. The city, though not an official second capital, has acquired somewhat identical status with hosting Assembly session. Activities will shift from Bangalore to Belgaum once the mini Vidhana Soudha is constructed.
There is a need to decentralise power. Bangalore is congested and Belgaum is the best alternative though Mangalore is the ‘commercial capital’. In the coming session, I am going to press for declaring Belgaum as the second capital.
Dr M P Nadagouda,
It is not possible to officially declare second capital. The Constitution does not allow States to have second capital.
B V Acharya,
former Advocate General