Agitators keep political heavyweights at bay

Resign and join the stir, farmers in the Cauvery basin tell elected representatives

For the last 23 days, agitators in the Cauvery region are up in arms over the release of Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu. They are also up in arms against political bigwigs seeking milieage out of the situation.

Their angst and ire is not just limited to the release of water to the neighouring state, but also against sloganeering and rasta rokos.

Fed up with token assurances and false hopes by elected representatives, protesters have made their stand clear from the beginning. They have sent a strong message across the political class by saying, “resign and then join us.”

They want the bigwigs to resign from their posts and join them in their fight by being not just physically present, but also being there with a moral obligation.

They are wary of the elected representatives, basking in the limelight of protests, but preffering to do the disappearing act when the situation demands them to be there.
While the genuine protester toils in the sun, crying hoarse over the injustice meted out to him, the elected representative makes a ‘guest appearance’ and carries away all the laurels and applauds.

When the elected representatives of Mandya district lent their support to the dharna near the Visvesvaraya idol in Mandya recently, their presence was vehemently opposed by agitators. On October 3, when a strong crowd of 15,000 protesters pickected the Krishnaraja Sagara dam, they vented their ire against elected representatives who had arrived there.

On October 4, Opposition Leader in the Legislative Assembly, Siddaramaiah, and Opposition Leader in the Legislative Council, M C Nanaiah, were halted from giving a speech at the relay hunger strike near Visvesvaraya statue.

The sight of leaders posing and offering a volley of words before the media left many of the agitators fuming. They are tired of their gimmicks and their popular dialogues which run something like: “I am ready to tender my resignation. Let the Union Ministers give theirs...” or “I have submitted my resignation letter to my party president....” so on and so forth.

“Where were they all these days?” questions Boregowda from Mandya. “There are several leaders from this belt. Why are they suddenly concerned about us?”

They come here, launch tirades against the other political parties, doing more harm than use, says Puttegowda from Haniyambadi.

Sensing the heat, forme chief minister B S Yeddyurappa has written to Hitarakshana Samithi President G Madegowda, seeking permission to take part in the Cauvery agitation in Mandya. When Madegowda made the  former chief minsiter’s desire public during a dharna, there was instant opposition.

However, even amidst all the the din and uproar, the fact remains that it is difficult to keep the political leaders at bay. Their role is all the more pertinent to take the fight forward in the House and in the Court — they claim.

“We cannot omit our leaders’ presence. The matter should be fought and ably supported by all quarters of society,” some protesters said.

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