North Karnataka bandh call pulls more criticism

Sena leaders stated that they would not allow the bandh to take place

After various organisations including Mahadayi agitators opposed the August 2 bandh call demanding separate statehood for North Karnataka region, even Uttara Karnataka Janashakti Sena, which is in favour of having separate statehood for the region, has termed the bandh call an instigation by the BJP, and stated that the struggle should have been started only after taking the people of all 13 districts in the region into confidence.

"We do not just oppose the bandh call, but we also ensure that the bandh is not observed on August 2. BJP is behind the August 2 bandh call, as the organisation which gave the call for the bandh got 'supari' from the BJP," said Uttara Karnataka Janashakti Sena president S Shankranna.

Speaking to media persons here on Tuesday, he charged that people's representatives in the region are also responsible for the backwardness of North Karnataka region, and leaders like Umesh Katti, A S Patil Nadahalli and B Shriramulu who are supporting separate statehood demand should first reveal their contributions to the development of the region.

"There has been step-motherly attitude towards this region, and there is a need for separate statehood. We would conduct awareness programmes in all 13 districts in the region and would explain to the people about the injustice. If they agree, we would observe Karnataka Rajyotsava on November 1 as a black day, and separate state flag would be hoisted," he said.

JD(U) condemns

JD(U) (Sharad Yadav faction) State unit president M P Nadagouda condemned the demand for separate state demand, charging that the BJP leaders are creating confusion among the people about this issue.

"All of us have the responsibility to protect the unity of Karnataka, and unification movement started from this region. It is true that North Karnataka region is lagging behind in development, but Chamaraj Nagar and Pavgadh areas in South Karnataka are also backward. All such areas should be developed, and all should work unitedly for that," Dr Nadagouda said.

There is a lack of strong leadership from this region all three major parties. BJP is showing the double standard in North Karnataka issue, while Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy and JD(S) supremo H D Deve Gowda also gave confusing statements. All leaders should work together for the development of common people in the region, instead of thinking about their personal development, he added.

Meanwhile, theatre artiste Chindodi Vijaykumar said, "we want a united Karnataka, but we demand the development of North Karnataka region."

'Bandh sure'

Office-bearers of Uttara Karnataka Raitha Sangha, which has given the call for North Karnataka bandh on August 2 demanding separate statehood for the region, clarified that they would stick to the bandh call and their demand, even if authorities concerned give assurances for the region's development.

"We have waited all these years and tolerated the discrimination to the region. We are not connected with any political party, and we request all organisations to support the bandh voluntarily. We will not forcibly close shops or stop the bus movement on August 2, but will stage a protest," the Sangha office-bearers Eshwarappa Unkal, A M Nadaf, and Manjunath Angadi said.

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North Karnataka bandh call pulls more criticism

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