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Karnataka bandh: Schools, offices may remain closed on 25 January

27 January 2018, 07:20 | Violet Powell

Karnataka bandh on Thursday over Mahadayi water dispute; schools, several offices to remain closed

Vatala Paksha President Vatal Nagaraj chairs a meeting of pro Kannada organisation regarding the Kalasa Banduri protest in Hubballi on Sunday. DH

The warning from the BJP comes on the back of the state's Congress unit extending its support to the call for a bandh from pro-Kannada organisations led by Vatal Nagaraj, on the days Shah and Modi are visiting the state. Police had made elaborate security arrangements across the state to ensure that no untoward incident occurs. In an official statement, Wipro said, "On account of the shutdown called by various organizations, as a precautionary measure, Wipro Limited has declared holiday for employees in Karnataka today".

These bandhs have put the BJP under tremendous pressure, since either of the two leaders skipping their respective rallies will send the wrong signal to BJP supporters in the state. Since 2001, Karnataka has been asking Goa to release 7.6 tmcft (thousand million cubic feet) of the river water.

On allegations of the Congress tacitly supporting the bandh, he says, "None of the ministers will interfere with any of these bandhs and we are not supporting anybody". We will show Siddharamaiah who is playing politics.

Demanding Centre's intervention into the Mahadayi water sharing issue, the Confederation of Pro-Kannada Organisations called the state-wide bandh.

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Pro-Kannada outfits have also called a Bengaluru Bandh on February 4, when Modi will be here to address a rally, with the BJP seeing the shutdown as a "politically motivated" move instigated by the ruling Congress to synchronise with the visits of the prime minister and BJP chief. "If not, we shall take out a rally in Bengaluru on February 4".

Shettar also urged Rahul Gandhi to spell out his party's stand on the issue. "I have not heard of any Chief Minister behaving in such a manner".

Bengaluru, Mysuru and Malaprabha Command Area's districts like Belagavi, Gadag, Dharwad and Bagalkot bore the maximum brunt. The dispute over sharing of Mahadayi waters began in the 1980s.

Goa, Karnataka and Maharashtra are now involved in a dispute in the tribunal over controversial Kalsa-Bhandura dam project across Mhadei river, through which Karnataka aims to divert water from the Mahadayi basin to nearby basin on the Malaprabha river. Repeated efforts by the state seeking Prime Minister's intervention to solve the issue, have also not been successful.

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