Schools, offices shut, protesters demand Centre's intervention in Mahadayi dispute

Jeannette Daniel
January 27, 2018

Attempts have been made by Karnataka to amicably solve the issue pending before the Mahadayi Water Disputes Tribunal through discussion have failed to bear fruit.

Public transport was affected in Hubballi, though a few autorickshaws plied. The Bruhat Bengaluru Chemists and Druggists' Association said that while it supports the bandh, medical shops will be open.

A state-wide shutdown in Karnataka came into effect on Thursday with farmers and pro-Kannada groups calling for a 12-hour "bandh" from 6 AM to 6 PM over the Mahadayi river water sharing dispute. "Congress is even now behaving like it did during the emergency by deploying police to hold off supporters and by organising Mahadayi bandhs matching my and Prime Minister Narendra Modiji's Parivartana Yatra address", he said.

Speaking to reporters in Mysuru, BJP MP Pratap Simha called it a government sponsored bandh, alleging that the intention was to disrupt Shah's rally.

Asked if the party was prepared for a bandh when Rahul Gandhi visits Karnataka, state Congress working president Dinesh Gundurao said, "the bandh is to get the attention of the Prime Minister Modi on the issue, what has Rahul Gandhi got to do with it?"

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The districts are Belagavi, Bhagalkote, Dharwad and Gadag in the northwest. Mahadayi is river originates in Karnataka but largely flows through the Goa before vacating in the Arabian Sea. However, the move was opposed by then Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar, who claimed that the proposal could be ecologically disastrous for the Western Ghats of the coastal state.

Wipro and Accenture have declared holiday for their employees in Karnataka in view of the statewide bandh that has called today. "BJP leaders were embarrassed by the empty chairs during the previous rally attended by Shah in Bengaluru", mocked the CM, adding that he was not petty minded to obstruct the BJP's rally. Meanwhile, they also set up a four-member committee to monitor any activities by Karnataka to divert water. The dispute over sharing of Mahadayi waters began in the 1980s.

On 25 January, BJP president Amit Shah will be in Mysuru to participate in the "Parivarthana Yathre" of BJP leader and former chief minister BS Yeddyurappa.

"All political parties have the right to demonstrate and the government is free and fair to give them any permission", he tells India Today.

Other reports by My Hot News

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