Bandh call evokes mixed response in state

Bandh call evokes mixed response in state

Chikmakalur: BJP workers stage a bullock-cart rally protest during their Karnataka bandh, called over the various issues of the farmers, in Chikmagalur on Monday, May, 28, 2018. (PTI Photo)

The Karnataka bandh called by the BJP to protest against Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy’s failure to keep his promise of farm loan waiver evoked mixed response.

Barring stray incidents of stonepelting and those of heated arguments with the police, the bandh was peaceful.

The protesters stoned offices and a bus in Bailhongal, Belagavi district and damaged window panes of an Indira canteen in Chitradurga. There was poor response elsewhere in the district.

In Chitradurga, 35 protesters barged inside the Indira canteen at Union Park near the bus stand, raising slogans against Kumaraswamy and threw stones at it, damaging window panes. They had an argument with the staff over keeping the canteen open despite the bandh call. The police detained the protesters.

In Bailhongal, the protesters threw stones at the tahsildar’s office, a bus, a few shops and banks. They barged inside the tahsildar’s office, sent out the staff and locked up the office. Petrol bunks, theatres and shops remained closed.

In Yadgir, BJP workers led by MLA Venkatareddy Mudnal forced hotels and bus services to shut down. As hotel owners did not heed the bandh call by them, they sent out the customers and forced the hotels to down their shutters.

There was hardly any response in Ballari, Bidar, Ramanagara, Hosapete, Ballari, Chamarajanagar, Mandya, Koppal, Kalaburagi, Davangere and other parts of the state.

The BJP called off the bandh in Bagalkot district as a mark of respect to MLA Siddu Nyamagouda, who died on Monday morning.

The bandh evoked mixed response in Uttara Kannada, Kodagu and Chikkamagaluru districts. The bandh was total in former chief minister Yeddyurappa’s constituency, Shikaripura, Shivamogga district. It evoked a lukewarm response elsewhere in the district.

In Karwar (Uttara Kannada), shops and hotels remained closed. Vehicles, except autos, plied as usual.

In Koppal, BJP activists took out a protest march from the Clock Tower Circle. Police stopped the rally, saying permission had not been taken. Then, the partymen, led by MP Sanganna Karadi, laid a siege to the police station. The police closed the doors and pushed out the MP. Irked, Karadi pushed the DySP Sandigawada around.

Dharwad city literally came to a standstill, following the bandh. Though it appeared that the bandh call received a total response, it was a forced bandh as BJP workers went around, asking business establishments, government offices and banks to close down.