Kannada organisations and farmers have decided to hold two bandhs in Karnataka over the next two weeks over Mahadayi river water sharing row, said media reports.
According to Deccan Herald, a federation of pro-Kannada organisations has decided to call a state-wide bandh on 25 January, and a Bengaluru bandh on 4 February.
The Bengaluru bandh will coincide with Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to the city to attend the state BJP's Parivarthana rally.
The BJP had put off Modi's Bengaluru visit to 4 February. The prime minister was earlier scheduled to visit on 28 January to address a rally to mark the conclusion of the party’s Parivarthana Yatra, The Hindu had reported.
The pro-Kannada outfits have asked Modi to intervene in the Mahadayi river water sharing dispute between the state and neighbouring Goa.
Vatal Nagaraj, leader of Kannada Chalavali Vatal Paksha (KCVP), a pro-Kannada outfit, had said that about 2,000 Kannada outfits had backed the bandh call.
However, according to The Times of India report, some Kannada activists were upset with Nagaraj for not taking them into confidence when he gave a call for a Karnataka bandh.
"Did you take our consent before giving a bandh call on 25 January? We will not support it. Our intention of calling a bandh on January 27 was to pressure Modi to intervene in the Mahadayi issue, as he was to visit the state on 28 January. Frequent bandhs are causing a lot of inconvenience to the public, who are now upset," Kannada activists were quoted as saying by The Times of India.
On 11 January, Nagaraj said the organisations had decided to speak to government officers and employees, lorry owners, fuel service stations, education institutions and appeal to them to cooperate in ensuring that the Bandh was a success.
The Kannada organisations have decided to show black flag to Modi when he visits Bengaluru for Parivarthana Yatra, a state-wide programme against the Congress government.
Karnataka has locked horns with Goa over the Mahadayi river sharing issue to supply water for Hubballi and Dharwad towns for drinking water through Kalasa-Banduri canal. Goa chief minister Manohar Parrikar, on 11 January, said he would go by the decision taken by the Mahadayi river water sharing tribunal.
Earlier he had written to state BJP chief BS Yeddyurappa lending his support to resolve the Mahadayi river water sharing issue.
Karnataka is seeking release of 7.56 tmcft water by Goa from the Mahadayi river for the Kalasa-Banduri Nala project, being undertaken to improve the drinking water supply to Hubballi-Dharwad and districts of Belagavi and Gadag in the northern region.
The Kalasa-Banduri Nala (diversion) project involves building barrages across Kalasa and Banduri, tributaries of Mahadayi River, to divert 7.56 tmcft to the Malaprabha river which supplies drinking water needs of the region.
On 27 December last year, a bandh was declared in five north Karnataka districts over the same issue following a call by farmer groups.
With inputs from PTI
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Updated Date: Jan 25, 2018 01:08:44 IST