BENGALURU: Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa – probably BJP’s tallest leader in the south – on Monday said a firm “no” to party chief Amit Shah’s push for popularising the use of Hindi as a common language across the country, which has revived the decades-old uniformity versus diversity debate. The southern states have traditionally resisted the exclusive use of Hindi, seeing it as a cultural imposition by north Indians. This time, the opposition Congress and the Left have also joined the fray. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM'”As far as Karnataka is concerned, Kannada is the principal language. We will never compromise its importance,” Yediyurappa said in a tweet, reflecting the popular sentiment in the state. Karnataka regularly witnesses assertion of identity by pro-Kannada organisations. In face of a growing demand for job reservation for locals, the new Chief Minister recently said Kannadigas must get the “lion’s share” of jobs in the state. Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan was among the first to speak up against Shah’s views, declaring a tweet that the claim that “Hindi unifies our country is absurd”. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&K”That language is not the mother tongue of a majority of Indians. The move to inflict Hindi upon them amounts to enslaving them. Union Minister’s statement is a war cry against the mother tongues of non-hindi speaking people,” his tweet read. As the country marked Hindi Diwas on Saturday, Shah had tweeted suggesting a wider use of Hindi as a common language. “India is a country of many different languages, and each language has its own significance, but it is necessary to have a common language that becomes the mark of India’s identity globally… Today, if there is one language that has the ability to string the nation together in unity, it is the Hindi language which is the most widely-spoken and understood language in India,” his tweet read.