Karnataka chief minister HD Kumaraswamy on Monday blamed the media for the flare-up of the demand for a separate statehood for north Karnataka, saying if anything went wrong in the future, it would be held responsible.

“You (media) are responsible for flaring up of separate North Karnataka state issue. I would like to tell my media friends that by raking up the issue everyday, you are ruining the state. Don’t mistake me,” he told reporters.

He targeted the media for “misquoting” him, Kumaraswamy said he has only responded to a BJP MLA’s statement in the Assembly. “I was responding to (BJP leader) Sreeramulu’s statement during the Budget Session. I had asked him, from where will he get grants after carving out a separate state of North Karnataka? Is it a big issue? Is it a big crime?” he said.

Sreeramulu, during the budget discussion, had said the demand for separate statehood will intensify if the government neglected the region. The issue has raised a storm with outfits coming under the banner of Uttara Karnataka Pratyeka Rajya Horata Samiti, a committee fighting for a separate statehood to north Karnataka, announcing a day-long bandh in 13 districts of the region on 2 August. The bandh call has been given to press for statehood for the region alleging discrimination by successive governments towards it.

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