Live updates on the Karnataka bandh over Mahadayi dispute

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The Mahadayi river water sharing dispute is again back as several Kannada people declared the Karnataka bandh tomorrow on 25 January 2018.

The outfits have called for a Karnataka bandh on January 25 when Shah will address a rally in Mysuru and a Bengaluru bandh on February 4, the day Modi arrives here.

Speaking to reporters in Mysuru, BJP Member of Parliament Pratap Simha called it a government sponsored bandh. Hoping to end Congress' rule in the state, BJP is banking on Modi and Shah to boost its prospects in the state where the Grand Old Party too is on a strong wicket. The BJP is playing with the sentiments of Kannadigas. The Mahadayi river originates in Karnataka and flows for around 35km in the state.

The protestors are demanding the implementation of the Kalasa-Banduri dam project. Goa has opposed this on the ground that it would be harmful to the ecology of the Western Ghats. Karnataka goes to polls in April- to elect 224 legislators, a battle which will see the Congress and BJP face off for control of the southern state. But protests gained intensity after Yeddyurappa claimed to have achieved a major breakthrough in the dispute during an election rally in Dharwad on 21 December. The project, which has been hanging since 2002, was expected to provide water to the parched North Karnataka by diverting a portion of the water of Mahadayi river.

"@siddaramaiah may score some cheap political brownie points by organising these bandhs, but what about lakhs of daily wage workers who would have to starve because of CM's treacherous political gimmicks?"

The Kannada protesting groups wants Prime Minister Narendra Modi to intervene over the Mahadayi issue and help them with the solution as Modi has scheduled his visit to Karnataka.

Hoteliers have decided not to support the bandh. Mostly due to the inconvenience caused including cases of stone pelting, damage to private and public property. However, bus services in parts of North Karnataka are likely to be hit as drivers of North West Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation have made a decision to support the bandh.

Today, farmers and pro-Kannada organisations are observing bandh in Karnataka which led to shutting down of various schools and colleges.The private schools, as well as the state government school, remain closed for today during the bandh.

Those protesting have reiterated that BJP, which is in power at both the Centre and in Goa, should resolve the crisis.

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