No let-up in agitation for Kalasa-Banduri

The agitation by the farmers of Dharwad and Gadag districts, demanding that Mahadayi river be linked with Malaprabha to ease water problems in the North Karnataka districts, has gathered steam.

On the 44th day of agitation on Friday, a group of farmers from Hebasuru and Kiresuru villages laid siege to former minister and sitting MLA from Shiggaon Basavaraj Bommai's house in Hubli.

The agitating farmers expressed their anguish saying “You (Basavaraj Bommai) started your political career through Kalasa-Banduri movement.

“When you took out a padayatra, we invited you to our houses and provided food. We voted you to Vidhana Soudha. We helped your father (S R Bommai) become chief minister. It's payback time for you. Get us water,” they demanded.

“Both Jagadish Shettar and Pralhad Joshi furthered their political career on Mahadayi issue and now they are trying to create rift in the movement,” the protesters complained
The farmers took out a procession to Rani Chennamma Circle, where they blocked the road for over two hours.

The Hubballi-Naragund stretch on National Highway-218 has remained closed for the fourth consecutive day on Friday. After the protesters torched the buses on Monday, KSRTC has stopped plying buses on the said route. The ongoing bandh has hit the business establishments in Naragund and Navalgund towns.

Ron in Gadag district observed bandh on Friday.

Meanwhile, the agitating farmers have changed the leadership of the agitation. They have appointed Vijay Kulkarni, farmers' leader of Chikkanaragund.

Kulkarni will replace Raitha Sena State president Veeresh Sobaradamath and Shankranna Ambali, who were accused of accepting money from the government to derail the Mahadayi movement. The protesters also imposed embargo on Jayamrityunjaya Swami of Panchamashali Peeth, Kudalasangama.

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