Hubballi (Bengaluru): In a bid to get the Mahadayi river dispute resolved, pro-Kannada organisations and farmers have called for two bandhs in Karnataka over the next two weeks.
While the state-wide bandh will be observed on January 25, the second bandh will be organised in Bengaluru on February 4.
The Bengaluru bandh will coincide with Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to the city to attend the state BJP's Parivarthana rally.
The Prime Minister is scheduled to attend the state BJP Parivarthana rally in Bengaluru and the intent to hold the rally on February 4 is to pressure on Narendra Modi to intervene in the river dispute.
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 a report in The Times of India, Vatal Nagaraj faced the angst of Mahadayi and Kannada activists for not taking them into confidence when he gave a call for a Karnataka bandh on January 25.
Vatal, who wished to express his solidarity with the farmers of North Karnataka, was in Hubballi to brief the media about the proposed bandh to mark their protest against the delay in solving the Mahadayi crisis. However, midway into the conference, members of the Kalasa-Banduri Samanvaya Samiti, Hubballi, and Kannada activists barged into the hall and created a ruckus.
Meanwhile, Kannada activists Amrut Ijari, Mahesh Pattar, Shekaraiah Hiremath and several others expressed anger and questioned Nagaraj: "Did you take our consent before giving a bandh call on January 25? We will not support it. Our intention of calling a bandh on January 27 was to pressure PM Modi to intervene in the Mahadayi issue, as he was to visit the state on January 28. Frequent bandhs are causing a lot of inconvenience to the public, who are now upset."
The Kannada organisations have also decided to show black flag to Modi when he visits Karnataka on January 28 for the concluding ceremony of BJP's Nava Karnataka 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.
On January 11, Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar 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 2017, a bandh was declared in five North Karnataka districts over the same issue following a call by farmer groups....