Several Kannada organisations, under the banner of “Kannada Okkoota”, have called a Karnataka bandh on October 6 in protest against the Prime Minister’s directive to the State to release 9,000 cusecs of water every day to Tamil Nadu.
Speaking to mediapersons here on Friday, Vatal Nagaraj of Kannada Chaluvali Vatal Paksha said that the Okkoota would also hold a march from Cauvery Bhavan to Raj Bhavan on October 1.
‘No water to share’
“The directive on water sharing is unacceptable when Karnataka is reeling under a severe drought,” Mr. Nagaraj said. He added there was an alarming decline in inflow into all reservoirs in the Cauvery basin — Harangi, Hemavathi, KRS and Kabini — which was not taken into account before issuing the directive.
“The Prime Minister did not even bother to send a study team to assess the situation realistically and impartially,” said Mr. Nagaraj, adding the decision was politically-motivated.
Mr. Nagaraj asserted that Kannada organisations bore no ill-will towards the people of Tamil Nadu, but a campaign was inevitable in the light of the dire water crisis — both for irrigation and drinking — in the State.
He demanded that all four Union Ministers from Karnataka — S.M. Krishna, M. Veerappa Moily, M. Mallikarjun Kharge and K.H. Muniyappa — resign from their posts to pressure the Centre to be fair to Karnataka in resolving the Cauvery water dispute.
He welcomed Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar’s stand that the State cannot release any water considering the drought situation.
Film industry support
Sa.Ra. Govind, Kannada activist and film producer, said the film industry would be extending support to the campaign. All film-related activities would come to a standstill on October 6, he added.