Karnataka bandhs put BJP in uncomfortable position as Congress leverages Mahadayi issue

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"Essential services like ambulance, hospitals, milk supply, sale of vegetables and fruits and drugs through medical shops will be available to avoid inconvenience to the public", noted Gowda. The city wears a deserted look as buses remain off the roads and business establishments are closed. The rally had been postponed by an hour-and-a-half due to vociferous protests in Mysuru, The News Minute reported. Though autorickshaws and cabs were seen plying, they were out in lesser numbers. Several private schools and state government offices are likely to remain closed on Thursday.

In a statement, the IT giant stated that it was declaring holiday as a "precautionary measure" to avoid any kind of disruption. Policemen in good numbers stopped them and evacuatedthem from the Railway stations.Police arrested or detained hundreds of protesters who were trying to forcefully close banks and government offices.

The Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce has also announced its support for the bandh on both the days.

Though hotels, restaurants and eateries were opened in some areas, owners said they may have to stop their services depending on the situation.

Karnataka, which has locked horns with neighbouring Goa on sharing Mahadayi River water, is seeking a release of 7.56 tmcft water for the Kalasa-Banduri Nala project.

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The districts are Belagavi, Bhagalkote, Dharwad and Gadag in the northwest. The matter is pending before the Mahadayi Water Dispute Tribunal.

Shah said despite "desperate attempt" to disrupt the rally here by organising the bandh, "we have managed to hold it and been successful at it". Various pro-Kannada organisations led by the Karnataka Rakshana Vedike and Vatal Nagaraj, leader of Kannada Chalavali Vatal Paksha (KCVP) are leading the bandh all over the state.

On the directions of Mysuru Commissioner of Police Dr A Subramanyeshwara Rao, security was beefed up in the city to thwart any untoward incident during the bandh.

Addressing a party rally in Mysuru, Shah accused the Congress of behaving like as it did during the Emergency.

"This shows the Parivarthana Rally of the BJP has instilled fear in the mind of the Congress Party", alleged Shah, adding that the Siddaramaiah government, which halted buses and imposed a total shutdown in the state, would try to do it again on February 4, to disrupt Prime Minister Narendra Modi's rally at Bengaluru.