The Bharatiya Janata Party on Monday claimed that the Congress was responsible for pro-Kannada outfits and farmers’ organisations calling for strikes on January 25 and February 4, The Indian Express reported. The party claimed that the strikes were scheduled to disrupt BJP National President Amit Shah and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visits to Karnataka.
The outfits announced the strikes to pressure the state and central governments to resolve the Mahadayi water-sharing dispute. They are protesting against the non-implementation of the Kalasa-Banduri dam project, which will divert water from the Mahadayi river to districts in North Karnataka.
Shah is scheduled to hold a rally in Mysuru on January 25, when a statewide bandh is scheduled. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit Bengaluru on February 4, when a strike has been called in the city.
Karnataka BJP President BS Yeddyurappa (pictured above) alleged that Chief Minister Siddaramaiah had tacitly supported the strikes to counter Modi and Shah. “What is the need for a statewide bandh?” Yeddyurappa asked. “A bandh in the affected areas will suffice. Why should there be a bandh in Mysuru?”
Yeddyurappa claimed Siddaramaiah was “trying to create confusion, stop buses and close schools and colleges”, but the Karnataka chief minister denied the allegations. “A bandh is a problem for the government,” he said. “We [the Congress] have nothing to do with it. The BJP should request the organisers of the strike to call them off.”