Karnataka Bandh today over Mahadayi river dispute; Schools, Offices remain shut

The Goa Ministry for Water Resources Development (WRD) on Thursday formed a special team to monitor whether Karnataka or Maharashtra governments continue with the works of building and operating canals along the Mahadayi basin for diversion of water. The saffron party suspects the bandh is a Congress ploy to disrupt the BJP rally.

What is the Mahadayi river water dispute?

Agitators are holding protests in Attibelle, Bangalore Urban district Karnataka, over Mahadayi water dispute.

The bandh affected regular life.

Several firms including IT giant Wipro has declared a holiday for employees. They also burnt central government figures effigies near the Town Hall. Meanwhile, they also set up a four-member committee to monitor any activities by Karnataka to divert water.

What was the opposition BJP's reaction?

Even as the agitators reiterated that the bandh call was given to demand Prime Minister Narendra Modi's intervention, the call for a second bandh in Bengaluru on February 4, which also coincides with a rally by Modi in Bengaluru, has triggered a war of words between the ruling Congress and the BJP. Various pro-Kannada organisations led by the Karnataka Rakshana Vedike and Vatal Nagaraj, leader of Kannada Chalavali Vatal Paksha (KCVP) are leading the bandh all over the state. The bandh was total in Mandya, evoked a mixed response in Mysuru, and made no impact in Dakshina Kannada, Shivamogga and Kodagu. "It is nothing but a "state sponsored" bandh which is politically motivated", senior BJP leader and former chief minister Jagdish Shettar told ThePrint. The Associated Managements of Primary and Secondary Schools in Karnataka had sent an advisory to schools that they should remain closed on Thursday and instead conduct full-day classes on Saturday to compensate.

With Amit Shah, BJP National President attending the last Parivartana rally in Mysuru, the BJP in the state has charged CM Siddaramaiah of hatching this plan to stop Shah from addressing people in the CM's own backyard.

Is the bandh a political ploy before state polls? Shah said despite "desperate attempt" to disrupt the rally here by organising the bandh, "we have managed to hold it and been successful at it".

  • Rogelio Becker