Kalasa-Banduri agitation: Karnataka bundh on Jan 25; Bengaluru bundh on Feb 4

Last Updated 21 January 2018, 12:05 IST

The federation of pro-Kannada organisations have decided to call a Karnataka bundh on  January 25, and a Bengaluru bandh on  February 4  (day when Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrives in Bengaluru).

Their demand is that PM Modi must intervene and resolve the  Kalasa-Banduri and Mahadayi river issues.

A decision in this regard was taken at a meeting of various pro-Kannada organisations and Kalasa-Banduri agitation committee at inspection bunglow here  on Sunday.

The meeting was chaired by Vatala Paksha President Vatal Nagaraj.

Though it was a press conference called by Vatal Nagaraj, it  was hijacked by the Kalasa-Banduri Horata Samanvaya Samithi   who demanded Vatal to postpone the Karnataka bundh to  February 4, the day when Prime Minister Modi is in Bengaluru to address a Parivartana yatra rally.

Vatal Nagaraj had called the press meet to announce that Karnataka would remain shut from  6:00 am to 6:00 pm  on  January 25, to mark 915 days of Kalasa-Banduri protest; and to press for the Prime Minister to intervene.  

However, Vatal disagreed to this at first as they had made arrangements to hold Karnataka bundh on  January 25, and rescheduling the same would be difficult.

This led to a heated discussion between the pro-Kannada leaders from 'South Karnataka' and samithi members.

The samithi members questioned Vatal on how he decided to call for Karnataka bundh on  January 25, without consulting the samithi, who have been staging protests for the cause for the last two-and-half years.

"Hubballi-Dharwad has already seen two bundhs in the last one month, bundhs have lost their impact and are ineffective. Calling another bundh would only mean more disruption to normal life," the samithi members argued.

Sources also informed DH that the samithi members were angry with the 'South Karnataka' pro-Kannada organisations as they had fixed  January 25  as bundh day after receiving an 'approval' from Chief Minister Siddaramaiah.

After cutting short the press meet midway, the pro-Kannada organisations and samithi members held a closed door meeting and later decided to observe a Karnataka bundh on  January 25; and a Bengaluru bundh on the day Prime Minister Modi arrives (February 4).  

Vatal said that the  January 25  bundh would be complete as they will not allow government offices, schools, colleges, buses and petrol bunks to function. More than 2,300 organisations have shown support for the bundh, he claimed.

And on  February 4, they will make sure that;   "The Prime Minister does not even get a glass of water," he claimed.  

The protesters claimed that their protest is not directed towards any single political party, and they would protest, by waving black flags, at Hosapete, where AICC Chief Rahul Gandhi is scheduled to hold a rally.

The protesters want Rahul Gandhi to commit himself to convincing Goa Congress leaders to not oppose the Kalasa-Banduri project.

(Published 21 January 2018, 08:54 IST)

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