Karnataka bandhs put BJP in uncomfortable position as Congress leverages Mahadayi issue

Karnataka bandhs put BJP in uncomfortable position as Congress leverages Mahadayi issue

Two bandhs have been called in Karnataka on January 25 and February 4 by pro-Kannada outfits in connection with the inter-state Mahadayi river water dispute with Goa.

"Mahadayi water dispute was created by the Centre and Goa's Chief Minister".

Today, farmers and pro-Kannada organisations are observing bandh in Karnataka which led to shutting down of various schools and colleges.The private schools, as well as the state government school, remain closed for today during the bandh.

To make sure law and order is maintained, more than 15,000 personnel will be deployed in Bengaluru. Bus, train, flight all services will be stopped. It has alleged that the Government has instigated the Kannada activists to pick Jan.25 and Feb.4 as the dates for the bandh when BJP President Shah and PM Modi are expected to visit the poll-bound State to take part in 'Nava Karnataka Parivartana Yatra, ' organised by the State unit.

Meanwhile, on Thursday, State-owned Kadamba Transport Corporation suspended all bus services to Karnataka, in wake of the one-day strike by Kannada groups, protesting the Central government's apathy towards the water dispute.

Among the Kannada organisations who called for the bandh, differences have cropped up.

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Very few hotels, restaurants and eateries were opened in the city, and stray minor incidents of stone-throwing were also reported with the bandh organisers targeting shops that refused to down shutters.

Though the river runs 29 km in Karnataka and 52 km in Goa, its catchment area is spread over 2,032 km in the southern state as against 1,580 km in Goa.

Eminent tech companies like Wipro and Accenture have also announced a holiday for their employees. "It is nothing but a "state sponsored" bandh which is politically motivated", senior BJP leader and former chief minister Jagdish Shettar told ThePrint.

"It was resolved in the last meeting that Congress and BJP leaders in Karnataka would speak and convince their counterparts in Goa on the issue".

The Mahadayi river (Mandovi in Goa) rises in the Western Ghats in Karnataka's Belagavi district. Hoping to end Congress' rule in the state, BJP is banking on Modi and Shah to boost its prospects in the state where the Grand Old Party too is on a strong wicket.

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