NOTA or own candidates: Green activists to decide in a fortnight

Environmentalists in Dakshina Kannada, who are opposing the controversial Yettinahole river diversion project, will by the second week of February decide on either fielding their own candidates in the Assembly elections or taking up an extensive campaign to convince voters to exercise NOTA option to register protest against the project.

Addressing presspersons here on Tuesday, Dinesh Holla, convener, Sahyadri Sanchaya, a registered body of environmentalists, said that civil works of the Yettinahole project have been extensively damaging the Western Ghats. Besides, increasing encroachments for rubber, rambutan, coffee and ganja cultivation and hydro-power projects have been damaging the ecology. The State government has failed to put an end to forest fire and curb illegal activities to save this biodiversity hotspot, he said.

Environmentalists want to field at least three candidates in Bantwal, Puttur and Mangaluru City South constituencies. If no suitable candidates are found, they would press the people for NOTA. Mr. Holla said that the activists took up NOTA campaign in the last Lok Sabha election, which resulted in 7,500 such votes. When it was scaled up to the last zilla panchayat elections in the district, 28,000 NOTA votes were cast.

Shashidhar Shetty, convener, National Environment Care Foundation, said that activists would display notices on the gates of houses asking leaders of the BJP, Congress and the Janata Dal (Secular) not to come seeking votes as they will not vote for them. Environmentalists would give such notices free of cost to those who want to display them, he said.

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Printable version | Sep 25, 2021 9:04:10 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/nota-or-own-candidates-green-activists-to-decide-in-a-fortnight/article22500831.ece

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