In the wake of the inordinate delay on the part of the Central government in notifying the award of the Mahadayi Water Disputes Tribunal, two JD(S) leaders have taken the lead in organising a pro-farmer movement on the issue.
Senior JD(S) leaders Basavaraj Horatti and N H Konaraddi are taking the initiative to arrange an all-party meeting of leaders from Dharwad, Haveri, Gadag and Bagalkot region.
Speaking to DH, Konaraddi said, “We want to urge the government to issue the notification as soon as possible. When the prime minister had come to Gadag, he had promised that he would ensure works would begin within two months. In 2002, the then BJP government, too, had given a No-Objection certificate. Both then and now, Goa has opposed this, causing a delay in the works. We want the government to implement the order of the Mahadayi Water Disputes Tribunal and start works at the earliest,” he said.
On December 28, a meeting involving local leaders in Belagavi will be held, while a similar meeting will follow in Bagalkot and later on in Gadag on January 2. Horatti has called an all-party MLA meeting on January 5, from Belagavi, Bagalkot, Gadag and Haveri districts.
Incidentally, the JD(S), which has always positioned itself as a regional, pro-farmer party, has maintained a low profile ever since the recent bypoll debacle. Konaraddi, however, emphasised that the movement was not about partisan politics, but about the strife of the local people for rights.
Last week, JD(S) legislature party leader H D Kumaraswamy had tweeted that the BJP had done injustice to the people of Karnataka: “BJP has made a habit of using Kannadigas for their politics but oppressing them when it comes to projects and funds. As Kannadigas, should we criticize the Centre’s decision or support it? What sadistic pleasure do you derive from provoking the self-esteem of Kannadigas? During elections, the party garnered votes in the name of resolving the Mahadayi issue. Now they are silent, fearing Modi.”
Protest in Dharwad
Meanwhile, the activists of “Mega Forum for Mahadayi” and Karnataka Samatha Sainik Dal staged a dharna in front of the deputy commissioner’s office in Dharwad on Tuesday demanding prime minister’s intervention in Mahadayi
The protesters alleged that the Centre had been neglecting the people and farmers of north Karnataka region who had been waging a struggle for Mahadayi water for years together.