Tit for Tat Politics of Congress and BJP …and helpless people suffer

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The opposition BJP has termed as "politically motivated" calls for two bandhs on January 25 and February 4 by pro-Kannada outfits, demanding the Prime Minister's intervention in the inter-state Mahadayi river water dispute with Goa. While pro-Kannada activists have called for a Bengaluru bandh on Feb.4, the day of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Bengaluru, the BJP, in a retaliatory move, will call a bandh on Feb.10 when Congress President Rahul Gandhi is scheduled to visit Karnataka. Several private schools and state government offices are likely to remain closed on Thursday.

With BJP chief Amit Shah set to speak in Mysuru amid the 12-hour bandh, 30 Karnataka state police personnel and 30 Railway Protection Forces personnel have been deployed for security at the Mysore railway station.

Public transport is expected to ply normally along with private cabs. The bandh call evokes good response in Dharwad.

The Mahadayi Water Disputes Tribunal, headed by J.N. Panchal, on July 28, 2016 rejected Karnataka's petition for releasing the water, citing various grounds including ecological damage the twin canal projects might cause.

The Mahadayi River originates in Karnataka before entering Goa and Maharashtra, and the three states have been locked in a bitter battle for the last three decades.

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The farmers also hit out at state BJP leaders for failing to stop the Centre from allowing Additional Solicitor-General of India, Atmaram Nadkarni to appear on behalf of the Goa government in the Mahadayi dispute. Then Congress president Sonia Gandhi, while addressing an election rally at Margao, had assured Goans that her party would not allow diversion of the Mahadayi waters.

Karnataka plans to divert waters from the river to Malaprabha basin in the state.

They are questioning the whole idea behind a state-wide bandh when the affected areas are only in the north of the state. However, these attempts to involve Modi have also not been successful.

Vatal Nagaraj, who heads 'Kannada Okoota, ' an umbrella organisation of Kannada bodies that led the protest march from town hall to Freedom Park in the city on Thursday, warned protests in front of the Parliament if the Prime Minister does not intervene in the matter.

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