Free Press Journal

Karnataka Bandh over Mahadayi water dispute: Schools and government offices may remain shut tomorrow


Photo by : Amit Kanwar

Normal life in Karnataka is likely to be affected as the state prepares for a bandh. Several Kannada and farmer outfits have called for this protest due to the Centre’s alleged apathy towards the Mahadayi dispute.

According to a report by Indian Express, schools and state government offices are likely to remain closed during the state-wide bandh. But the transport services –buses and cabs— will not be affected. Opposition BJP termed as “politically motivated” calls for two bandhs on January 25 and February 4 by pro-Kannada outfits, demanding the Prime Minister’s intervention in the inter-state Mahadayi river water dispute with Goa.

The party alleged Congress government had a role in selection of dates when BJP national President Amit Shah and Prime Minister Narendra Modi are expected to visit the poll bound state to take part in ‘Nav Karnataka Parivartan Yatra’, organised by the state unit.

The outfits have called for a Karnataka bandh on January 25 when Shah will address a rally in Mysuru and a Bengaluru bandh on February 4, the day Modi arrives here. “There is no necessity for a Karnataka bandh. If there was a bandh in the affected area,it is fine; what has Mysuru got to do with the issue?” BJP state president B S Yeddyurappa told PTI.

Accusing Chief Minister Siddaramaiah of extending support to the bandh with “malicious” intent, he said “Chief Minister is trying to create confusion, stop buses and close schools and colleges as done in the past….I have not heard of any Chief Minister behaving in such a manner.”

The project is being undertaken to improve drinking water supply to the twin cities of Hubballi-Dharwad and districts of Belagavi and Gadag. Attempts have been made by Karnataka to amicably solve the issue pending before the Mahadayi Water Disputes Tribunal through discussion, but have failed to bear fruit. Repeated efforts by the state seeking Prime Minister’s intervention to solve the issue have also not been successful.

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