Bengaluru: The opposition BJP has 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 in the city.
“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 BS Yeddyurappa asked.
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 January 25 programme would go ahead as planned, he said in Mysuru and added that his party was in favour of protecting the state’s interests on the Mahadayi issue.
Accusing Congress of playing politics, Leader of the Opposition Jagadish Shettar questioned the need to call for a bandh in Bengaluru on February 4 when a state-wide call had been given on January 25.
This clearly showed that there was political malice and that the Chief Minister is directly involved in planning it, he said in Huballi.
“When the Prime Minister is coming for a political event, if they are doing this it is clear that they are terrified... On hearing that Modi is coming Siddaramaiah and Congress start trembling, so they want to create disturbance,” he alleged.
Though differences have emerged among outfits over the bandh call, Vatal Nagaraj, who heads ‘Kannada Okoota’, an umbrella organisation of Kannada bodies, said there would be a state-wide dawn to dusk bandh on January 25, demanding the Prime Minister’s intervention.
Hitting back at the BJP, Siddaramaiah termed BJP’s allegations as baseless.
“Will Vatal Nagraj or Kannada organisations listen to government...why should we ask them to organise bandh? It is a problem for the government if there is a bandh,” he said
“We have nothing to do with it, let BJP go and request Kannada organisers against bandh”, he added.
Karnataka, which has locked horns with neighbouring Goa on sharing Mahadayi River water, is seeking release of 7.56 tmcft water for the Kalasa-Banduri Nala project.
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 have failed to bear fruit.
Repeated efforts by the state seeking Prime Minister’s intervention to solve the issue, has also not been successful....