National

Karnataka Bandh Over Mahadayi River Dispute, BJP Alleges Political Conspiracy

DIVYIA ASTHANA | 0
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| January 25 , 2018 , 09:19 IST

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. To ensure that law and order is maintained across the state, more than 15,000 police personnel have been deployed, with Chief Minister Siddaramaiah warning that no one should take the law into their own hands.

In the wake of the bandh, schools and colleges, even private companies such as Wipro,  have declared a holiday.

Although state transport buses are expected to run as usual, private transport is likely to be affected, with taxis and autorickshaws likely to be off the roads. The Bengaluru Metro will continue as usual, but may stop services if faced with any safety issues. The Bruhat Bengaluru Chemists and Druggists' Association said that while it supports the bandh, medical shops will be open.

The Karnataka bandh has been called to put pressure on the state and central governments to resolve the Mahadayi water sharing dispute. The groups are protesting against the non-implementation of the Kalasa-Banduri dam project which would divert water from the Mahadayi river to districts in north Karnataka facing acute water shortage.

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However, BJP has alleged that the Congress-led Karnataka state government calling a state-wide bandh on Thursday and on February 4 is politically motivated. On Thursday BJP chief Amit Shah was scheduled to address a rally in Mysuru in the culmination of the party's state-wide Parivartana rally.

The second 'Karnataka bandh' that is planned by the outfits for February 4, is the same day when Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to address a rally in Bengaluru.

In response, BJP has called for bandhs in districts when Congress President Rahul Gandhi visits Karnataka, which is scheduled to go to polls later this year.