Mahadayi could trigger more bandhs in Karnataka as political sparring continues

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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 in the city.

"Kannada organisations backing out from the bandh on January 25 is absolutely false", he said.

Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge on Thursday accused the Centre and the Goa Government for the ongoing dispute over sharing of Mahadayi water between Karnataka and Goa.

"It was resolved in the last meeting that Congress and BJP leaders in Karnataka would speak and convince their counterparts in Goa on the issue".

With many associations across sectors and regional outfits like Kannada Chalavali Vatal Paksha led by Vatal Nagraj extending support to the shut down, normal life is likely to be affected in cities and towns across the state. "Directions have been issued to police in all 30 districts to maintain law and order", the state's HM had told the media.

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Shah, while addressing a Parivartana rally here, assured that the BJP government would bring the culprits to justice after coming to power in the state.

The party alleged Congress government had a role in selection of dates when BJP national president Amit Shah and Prime Minister Narendra Modi are expected to visit the poll bound state to take part in "Nav Karnataka Parivartan Yatra", organised by the state unit.

Goa, Karnataka and Maharashtra are now involved in a dispute in the tribunal over controversial Kalsa-Bhandura dam project across Mhadei river, through which Karnataka aims to divert water from the Mahadayi basin to nearby basin on the Malaprabha river.

On allegations of the Congress tacitly supporting the bandh, he says, "None of the ministers will interfere with any of these bandhs and we are not supporting anybody". But the BJP and the Prime Minister are committed to passing this bill to do justice to Muslim sisters and mothers, he said. "I am warning the chief minister and the Congress party that if this is their attitude, then when Rahul Gandhi comes to the state it will become necessary for us to call for a bandh".

The bandh calls have now given the issue a whole new dimension, with Nagaraj saying, "a bandh for a bandh is nothing but opportunistic politics".