Bengaluru: Bandh again! No schools, no shopping, no travel
BENGALURU: In a statewide shutdown that harks back to the perennial bandhs that stymied the industrial growth of Left-run West Bengal and Kerala, a Karnataka bandh called by the pro-Kannada outfits over the Mahadayi river water sharing dispute goes into effect on Thursday, with the IT capital expected to be paralysed.
A 12-hour dawn to dusk bandh, the first such enforced closure in 2018 has been called on Thursday by Vatal Nagaraj, former MLA and president Kannada Okkoota – Karnataka Rajya, and other pro-Kannada outfits demanding intervention of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the Mahadayi river water sharing row between Karnataka and neighbouring Goa.
Speaking to this newspaper, Mr Vatal Nagaraj said "We are not calling for a bandh to inconvenience the people. But elected representatives have failed to raise the Mahadayi issue in the parliament. It is a matter that affects the lives of thousands of people and farmers. It is no child's play."
In the absence of strong leadership in both Karnataka and Goa, the issue could not be amicably settled through talks, Mr Vatal said and recalled how before the setting up of Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal, during the tenure of former Karnataka chief minister Mr Veerendra Patil and former Tamil Nadu chief minister M.K. Karunanidhi's tenure, Cauvery water had been shared without any rift between the states.
Over 2,000 Kannada organisations, government employees, Karnataka Film Chambers, trade associations, taxis, cabs and lorry associations, hotel owners association have expressed solidarity with the farmers relying on Mahadayi river water and have extended their support, Mr Vatal said.