May 20, 2018

Schools, offices shut, protesters demand Centre's intervention in Mahadayi dispute

27 January 2018, 07:19 | Darrell Baldwin

Karnataka bandhs put BJP in uncomfortable position as Congress leverages Mahadayi issue

Shettar, Joshi attack Feb 4 Bengalaru bandh as 'Congress-sponsored'

"As directed by the government, a team of engineers is hereby constituted to constantly watch over and monitor periodically, any work, if carried out on the Mahadayi river or its tributaries in Maharashtra as well as Karnataka", the order said. The Karnataka State Government Employees' Association and Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce have extended their support to the bandh.

Several offices and commercial buildings such as malls, markets etc were shut as several Karnataka organisations called a state-wide bandh on Thursday.

The state unit of the BJP had earlier alleged that the two bandhs were backed by Congress chief minister Siddaramaiah to pressurise the central government to ensure the resolution of the Mahadayi river water sharing dispute. A procession is expected to be flagged off here and will end in Freedom Park which is two kilometres away.

The outfits supporting the call for bandh are demanding that the Centre intervene in the dispute and resolve it immediately.

BJP termed the bandh "politically motivated" claiming that the ruling Congress was involved.

Incidents of stone throwing were also reported, as the organisers targeted shops that refused to close their shops.

Karnataka wants 7.56 tmcft water from the Mahadayi river for the Kalasa-Banduri Nala project. Shah said despite "desperate attempt" to disrupt the rally here by organising the bandh, "we have managed to hold it and been successful at it".

The bandhs have been called on January 25 when Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) chief Amit Shah will address a rally in Mysuru and a Bengaluru bandh on February 4, when PM Narendra Modi arrives. "If not, we shall take out a rally in Bengaluru on February 4".

He said if he does not stop indulging in such activities, BJP would begin staging similar protests during visits by AICC president Rahul Gandhi.

Shah said within four years, more than 20 activists of BJP and RSS had been killed.

BJP state president BS Yeddyurappa asked. Is this some kind of advertisement or a sports programme for people to sponsor? What is your (CM) stand?

The Mahadayi river (Mandovi in Goa) rises in the Western Ghats in Karnataka's Belagavi district.

The Mahadayi water sharing dispute has become a hot-button issue since the BJP's chief ministerial candidate, B.S. Yeddyurappa, read out a letter written by Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar at a public rally in Hubballi.

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