Prime Minister Narendra Modi is betraying Kannadigas by not allowing candidates to write the Institute of Banking Personnel Selection (IBPS) exams in Kannada, alleged former chief minister Siddaramaiah. The senior Congress leader demanded that the Centre should change the rule to allow candidates to write the exam in their respective regional languages.
"Prior to 2014, the candidates could write the exam in their regional languages. But after the BJP came to power, the rule was tweaked to allow exams only in English and Hindi," Siddaramaiah said in response to protests against the recent IBPS notification. The IBPS has called for applications to fill up 3,000 clerical posts across 11 nationalised banks, of which 407 posts are in Karnataka.
"If the candidate is not allowed to write in Kannada, it is an injustice to Kannadigas as it will deny them employment. Moreover, most of the central and state government schemes are being implemented through the banks. So, it is imperative to have staff with the knowledge of the local language as they are required to interact and transact with farmers, labourers, women, and others. The people in rural areas are already facing harassment from the staff who do not know Kannada," explained the Congress leader.
Siddaramaiah also demanded that the chief minister should resign if he could not stand up for Kannadigas.
"BSY's followers call him a huli (tiger) but in reality, he is an 'ili' (mouse) as he hides in his burrow when he is needed to stand up before Modi. Let him resign if he cannot ensure justice for Kannadigas," said Siddaramaiah, who also accused Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman of betraying Kannada and Kannadigas.
"We had brought this injustice to the attention of Sitharaman and she had given an assurance in Parliament that candidates would be allowed to write the exam in their regional languages. She has not kept her word and does not deserve to represent Karnataka in the Rajya Sabha," said the CLP leader, who mocked the 25 BJP MPs from the state saying they were behaving like "slaves" to Modi.
The Kannada Sahitya Parishat (KSP) has joined the chorus demanding a change in the rule. The IBPS notification states that the preliminary examination with three tests – English language, numerical ability, and reasoning ability, and the main examination with four tests - general/financial awareness, general English, reasoning ability, and computer aptitude and quantitative aptitude, will be conducted only in English and Hindi.