Normal life was disrupted in different parts of Karnataka on Thursday due to a state-wide bandh called by several Kannada and farmer outfits in protest against the “Centre’s apathy” towards the on-going inter-state Mahadayi river water dispute with Goa.
The pro-Kannda outfits are demanding Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s intervention in the matter. The state is seeking release of 7.56 tmcft water for the Kalasa-Banduri Nala project.
Private schools and state government offices in most parts of the state have declared holiday during the bandh. The Associated Management of Primary and Secondary Schools in Karnataka had asked private schools to keep the safety and security of staff and students in mind while deciding whether to remain closed or stay open. Various IT offices in Bengaluru also asked their employees to work from home or to take the day off.
With state-run buses remaining off the road, passengers who had come to the city from outside were stranded at the main bus terminal here. Similar reports have come in from Mysuru, Gadag, Dharwad and Hassan. Karnataka State Government Employees’ Association and Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce was in support of the bandh.
Follow Karnataka bandh LIVE UPDATES below:
7:35 pm: Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge commenting on Mahadayi water dispute was quoted by ANI as saying, “Mahadayi Water Dispute was created by the Centre and Goa’s CM. Goa’s CM should have tried to initiate a solution or asked the PM to help solve the dispute. Centre is not paying attention. PM himself is neglecting this.”
7:00 pm: The massive turnout in Parivartana Yatre is an indication of BJP’s promising prospects in the upcoming Assembly elections: Amit Shah on Twitter
6:45 pm: Slamming the statewide shutdown, state BJP chief B S Yeddyurappa on Twitter said, “A befitting reply from the people of Mysuru to Karnataka Bandh. I thank them from the bottom of my heart for participating in the Parivartana Yatre in large numbers and making it a grand success.”
A befitting reply from the people of #Mysuru to #KarnatakaBandh. I thank them from the bottom of my heart for participating in the #ParivartanaYatre in large numbers and making it a grand success.#ShahInMysuru pic.twitter.com/9TOPNvVutT
— B.S. Yeddyurappa (@BSYBJP) January 25, 2018
6:18 pm: The statewide shutdown has delayed the screening of “Padmaavat” in Bengaluru. The film is scheduled to be screened at multiplexes across Bengaluru and other cities like Mysuru and Mangaluru.
5:45 pm: Addressing Parivartana Yatre today in Mysuru, Karnataka, BJP president Amit Shah said, “Siddaramaiah government has crossed all boundaries of corruption. In Karnataka, Siddaramaiah means corruption and corruption means Siddaramaiah.”
3:40 pm: Shah added, “I dare Karnataka CM to stop BJP from forming next government here. BJP has started the Parivartana Yatre for not only to change the government but also to bring change in the lives of youth and to give security to the women of Karnataka.Siddaramaiah government has crossed all boundaries of corruption. In Karnataka, Siddaramaiah means corruption and corruption means Siddaramaiah.”
3:30 pm: BJP president Amit Shah while addressing Parivartana Yatre at Maharaja College Ground in Mysore attacked the state government. He said that Congress is trying to stop PM Modi’s rally on 4th February by calling for a state shutdown.
3:20 pm: A state-wide shutdown across Karnataka has logged out India’s tech hub. The southern state capital is home to at least 750 multinational companies and over 2,000 IT firms, with nearly 20 lakh techies working in them.
3:00 pm: The Karnataka unit of BJP from of its official Twitter account tweeted out a video saying CM Siddaramaiah’s ‘sarkari bandh’ is a total flop. State BJP chief B S Yeddyurappa earlier on Monday had accused the CM of tacitly supporting the bandhs.
Siddaramaiah’s #SarkariBandh is a total flop even in front of his own bungalow in Mysuru. Kannadigas are a progressive people who detest a @CMofKarnataka who is forcefully trying to put them out of work, instead of putting people to work. #CMBehindBandh#CongressBandhFlop pic.twitter.com/kuEaw7W2xE
— BJP Karnataka (@BJP4Karnataka) January 25, 2018
1:45 pm: However, the buses to Hyderabad, which have to pass through Karnataka, moved during the early hours today before the bandh started
1:30 pm: The KTCL has been plying its buses, connecting Panaji to various places in Karnataka, like Belagavi, Hubli, Bagalkot, Bengaluru and others.
1:07 pm: Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar had earlier said his state could share the river water with Karnataka for drinking purposes and expressed his willingness for bilateral talks.
01:00 pm: The Supreme Court had last year ordered Karnataka to stop the work on the construction of the canal, which was aimed at diverting water from the Mahadayi tributary.
12:59 pm: Goa’s water resources minister Vinod Palyekar recently said the state government will file a contempt petition next month before the Supreme Court and the tribunal against Karnataka for allegedly resuming work on a canal at Kankumbi “in violation” of of the apex court order.
12:51 pm: Meanwhile, Goa water resources department’s chief engineer S T Nadkarni has issued an order for the formation of a committee to monitor any activity in Maharashtra and Karnataka on the river or its tributaries. The committee will comprise four officers from the state water resources department. “As directed by the government, a team of engineers is hereby constituted to constantly (keep) watch over and monitor periodically any work, if carried out on the Mhadei (Mahadayi) river or its tributaries in Maharashtra as well as Karnataka,” Nadkarni said in the order.
12:45 pm: KTCL’s managing director Deryk Natto said, “The services to Karnataka have been suspended for a day due to the strike called by them. The services will resume once the strike is called off.” He said 23 buses which were regularly plying to Karnataka have been kept off roads till further orders, according to PTI.
12:40 pm: The Goa government has set up a four-member committee to monitor any possible activity in Maharashtra or Karnataka to divert the river water. Read more here
12:30 pm: Meanwhile, the Goa government-run Kadamba Transport Corporation Limited (KTCL) has suspended its bus services to Karnataka today owing to the bandh called in the neighbouring state over the Mahadayi River water dispute.
12:21 pm: Police said elaborate security arrangements have been made across the state to ensure that no untoward incident occurs. See some of the pictures of protests in Benaluru’s town hall.
12:17 pm: Vatal Nagaraj, who heads ‘Kannada Okoota’, an umbrella organisation of Kannada bodies, visited different parts of the city this morning and claimed the bandh has been “total”across the state and thanked public and organisations for cooperation, according to PTI.
12:16 pm: Though hotels, restaurants and eateries were opened in some areas, owners said they may have to stop their services depending on the situation as customers are also less. Differences have cropped up among Kannada organisations regarding the bandh call.
12:14 pm: The film industry and multiplexes have decided to remain shut, but the hospitals and clinics are expected to function normally, as the Indian Medical Association office bearers said that they will be extending moral support by wearing a black band.
12:13 pm: Protest was also staged in front of Manyata Embassy Business Park, a software technology park in Bengaluru.
12:09 pm: A group of protesters tried to disrupt rail services by entering the Bengaluru’s Sangolli Rayanna railway station but police stopped and detained them.
12:07 pm: As a precautionary step, schools and colleges in most parts of the state have declared holiday. Several examinations have also been rescheduled.
12:04 pm: Autorickshaws and cabs were plying but in lesser numbers. Cab and auto rickshaw drivers said customers were few today as most of the offices have declared holiday.
12:02 pm: Passengers who had come to the city from outside were stranded at the main bus terminal as the state-run buses remaining off the road today. Similar reports have come in from Mysuru, Gadag, Dharwad and Hassan.
12:00 pm: Major impact of the dawn-to-dusk bandh is being seen in northern districts that come under Malaprabha river basin. In other parts also, normal life has been hit as certain public services were paralysed.
11:12 am: Rahul Gandhi will kick start his campaign for the coming assembly polls on February 10. During his three-day visit, the first after being made All India Congress Committee chief, he will address a mega conference and conduct a road show.
11:09 am: Yeddyurappa had on Wednesday said, “We have decided that when Rahul Gandhi comes to Karnataka, we will call for a complete bandh in those districts he will be visiting.”
9:30 am: However, no effect of Karnataka Bandh has been seen in Kalaburagi area yet.
— ANI (@ANI) January 25, 2018
9:00 am: So the bus services have been suspended in the state over Mahadayi water dispute. See the pictures below.
8:55 am: Accusing Chief Minister Siddaramaiah of tacitly supporting the bandhs, State BJP chief B S Yeddyurappa asked, “What is the need for a statewide bandh? A bandh in the affected areas will suffice. Why should there be a bandh in Mysuru?”
“Siddaramaiah was trying to create confusion, stop buses and close schools and colleges. I have not heard of any Chief Minister behaving like this,’’ he said on Monday.
8:44 am: The Visvesvaraya Technological University (VTU) had yesterday announced to postpone the postgraduate examinations scheduled to be held today. These exams will now take place on February 5. Similarly, the Bangalore University has rescheduled its undergraduate and postgraduate examinations scheduled to held from January 25 onwards.
8:30 am: Repeated efforts by the state seeking PM Modi’s intervention to solve the issue has also not been successful. A visual of protest from Hubli.
8:29 am: Wipro has declared holiday for employees in Karnataka today. “On account of the shutdown called by various organizations, as a precautionary measure, Wipro Limited has declared holiday for employees in Karnataka today. Business Continuity Plans have been invoked to avoid disruption to mission critical project,” it said in a statement.
8:12 am: The outfits have announced the strike in order to put pressure on the state and central governments to resolve the Mahadayi water-sharing dispute. Also Read | What is the Mahadayi river dispute?
8:10 am: The project is being undertaken to improve drinking water supply to the twin cities of Hubballi-Dharwad and districts of Belagavi and Gadag. Attempts made by Karnataka to amicably resolve the issue pending before the Mahadayi Water Disputes Tribunal through discussion have failed to bear fruit. Repeated efforts by the state seeking Prime Minister’s intervention to solve the issue has also not been successful.
8:05 am: However, denying government involvement in the bandh, Siddaramaiah said, “A bandh is a problem for the government. We have nothing to do with it. The BJP should request the organisers of the bandh to call off the bandh.”
8.00 am: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has alleged that the call for bandh, one today and another other on February 4, was “politically motivated”, and that the Congress selected these dates as party national president Amit Shah and PM Modi are expected to visit Karnataka on those days to participate in the ‘Nav Karnataka Parivartan Yatra’, organised by the state BJP unit. Shah will visit the poll-bound state today. The party has now decided to observe district specific shutdown during Congress president Rahul Gandhi’s visit.
(With input from Agencies)