Former Chief Minister launches two-day dharna against release of Cauvery waters

The former Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa on Friday jumped into the Cauvery agitation by launching a two-day dharna in front of the Mahatma Gandhi statue in Bangalore.

Though originally it was planned to be a day-long dharna, Mr. Yeddyurappa later announced that it would be continued till Saturday evening. Interestingly, it was purely Mr. Yeddyurappa-sponsored protest and was not held under the Bharatiya Janata Party banner.

The backdrop for the dais on which dharna was held by the disgruntled BJP leader prominently displayed Mr. Yeddyurappa’s name as well as photo. But the name of the party and its symbol were missing.

Though the dharna was held in Bangalore, only three MLAs from the city participated in it. In all, eight legislators, including six MLAs from different parts of the State, took part in the protest.

At the protest, Mr. Yeddyurappa trained his guns on four Union Ministers from Karnataka and demanded that they should either get justice for the State with respect to Cauvery issue or quit the Ministry immediately. “These Ministers are as good as dead for the State,” he remarked.

He accused Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Assembly Siddaramaiah of failure to use his political contacts with the Congress high command to help the State. “Despite being in Delhi on that day, Mr. Siddaramaiah did not accompany Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar when he called on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to explain to him about the distress situation in the Cauvery basin,” Mr. Yeddyurappa said.

Later, Mr. Yeddyurappa telephoned Mandya Zilla Raithara Hitarakshana Samiti president G. Made Gowda who is spearheading the Cauvery protest in Mandya seeking his permission to participate in the protest. Mr. Yeddyurappa is believed to have even offered to quit his Assembly seat if the samiti insists that his political affiliation would come in the way of protest.

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