Agitation to be organised by Akhila Karnataka Gadi Horata Samiti
BANGALORE: The Akhila Karnataka Gadi Horata Samiti, a federation of over 400 pro-Kannada organisations, has decided to hold a five-day protest programme against the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal award from February 8.
Its will culminate in a Statewide bandh on February 12. The bandh was to have been observed on Thursday.
Samiti president Vatal Nagaraj, MLA, Kannada Sahitya Parishat president Chandrashekar Patil, Akhila Karnataka Rajkumar Fans' Association president S.R. Govindu and the former MLA K. Prabhakara Reddy told presspersons here on Tuesday that they had decided to postpone the bandh to February 12 in order to enlist the support of other organisations.
Emphasising that all the protest programmes would be peaceful, they said the samiti, supported by over 800 organisations from all over the State, would lay siege to the Raj Bhavan on February 8, burn copies of the award on February 9, stage a demonstration in front of the General Post Office on February 10, hold a rally in the heart of Bangalore on February 11 and observe a Statewide bandh from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. on February 12 to draw the Centre's attention to the injustice done to the State.
Essential services such as hospitals, medical shops, milk trucks and press vehicles would be exempted from the bandh, they said.
Demanding that the Government reject the tribunal award, Mr. Nagaraj wanted MPs and Union Ministers from the State to prevail upon the Centre not to gazette the award.
Prof. Patil asserted that it had repeatedly been shown that no national party could address regional issues pertaining to water, land and language. Only a regional party committed to the cause of Kannada could effectively address such issues. The time had come to look at the possibility of forming such a party, he said.
In a press release, the Communist Party of India has said that the verdict has failed to take into account the State's water needs and arrive at a scientific solution.
The party has, however, said that the dispute should be resolved through negotiations. The State should now ensure that there is no gazette notification of the verdict.
The Karnataka Prantha Raitha Sangha has said that the order goes against the State's interests. But this should not be used as an excuse to pit farmers against farmers in neighbouring States, said Baiyya Reddy of the sangha. The resolution of the dispute can only be through a review petition, he added.
Various other farmers groups and pro-Kannada organisations, including the Kannada Sangharsh Samiti and the Rashtriya Kisan Sangha, have described the verdict as unfair.