North Karnataka farmers call for bandh over Mahadayi river water issue

Mahadayi agitation heats up North Karnataka. DH

The farmers also said that they are going ahead with the bandh in five districts of the state after their meeting with the BJP failed to reach a consensus.

Congress working president Dinesh Gundu Rao and Water Resources Minister M B Patil on Tuesday informed the protesters that the ball was in the court of BJP governments' in Goa and at the Centre. The BJP's protest was in retaliation to farmers protesting outside the BJP headquarters since three days.

The farmers who had insisted that they would not withdraw the protest until Yeddyurappa visited them, were left disappointed after he gave no assurance.According to members of the Karnataka Raita Sene, Yeddyurappa said that he would solve the problem only if BJP was elected to power. "We are fed up with the BJP's false promises".

The project involves building barrages across Kalasa and Banduri, tributaries of Mahadayi river, to divert 7.56 tmc ft water of to Malaprabha which meets drinking water needs of the region.

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The bandh is likely to have an impact in Gadag, Dharwad, Bagalkot, Hubballi, Bailahongala and neighbouring areas. "But the parties are not interested in putting an end to the issue as they wish to continue playing politics", he said. BJP leaders claimed that they had held negotiations with Goa CM Manohar Parrikar and had reached a compromise over the sharing of Mahadayi River water.

Meanwhile, addressing the BJP workers participated in acounter agitation in front of KPCC office here, Lok Sabha memberShobha Kharandlje alleged that "Congress is unnecessarily blamingBJP though its leaders are doing their best to resolve the threedecade old issue".

Farmers of North Karnataka called for bandh continuing their agitation on the Mahadayi River water issue. And, if the PM convenes a meeting of Chief Ministers of Goa, Karnataka and Maharashtra along with leaders of the Opposition, the matter would be resolved in a few minutes.

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