Bengaluru: The Uttara Karnataka Horata Samiti has called for a North Karnataka bandh on August 2, accusing the state government of neglecting 13 districts in the northern half of the state.
Some of the reasons for calling this bandh include the poor budgetary allocation for these districts in Kumarswamy's Budget that was presented on July 5.
Poor representation of leaders from the north in the JDS-Congress cabinet has also raised protests. There are also demands to make a second capital in the north as well as a speedy resolution to the Mahadayi issue that has adversely impacted farmers of the region.
Meanwhile, politics over the demand of a separate state for north Karnataka continues. While the BJP and its state president BS Yeddyuruppa blames HD Deve Gowda and CM Kumaraswamy for having vested interests in dividing the state, he has also clarified that the BJP doesn’t support the demand of separate statehood. He also met with various seers who were sitting on a dharna outside Suvarna Souda in Belgavi and urged them to withdraw their support towards this cause.
It is however a known fact, that it was BJP MLA B Sriramalu who raked up the statehood issue in the recently concluded assembly session, setting off speculations whether some in the BJP supported the idea of a separate state. Former CM Siddaramaiah, however, questioned BJP's contribution to the region stating that the party didn't have any right to call for a separate state for north Karnataka.
Chief Minister Kumarsawamy has, on the other hand, lashed out at the media for 'fuelling fire' by encouraging debates on the issue. He also warned them that these media organisations would be held equally responsible for any untoward incident.
However, it was CM Kumaraswamy’s statement made at a gathering in Channapatna that has actually stoked the fire. He questioned the farmers of Koppal for not having voted for his party in the elections but still demanding a full loan waiver. This seems to have further angered the people of North Karnataka.
The Uttara Karnataka Raith Sangh, an organisation supporting the bandh, have assured that they will not block roads and other services but have urged people to voluntarily support the bandh in order to highlight their plight.
On July 31, the Uttara Karnataka Horata Samiti unfurled a separate flag for the region. The flag is saffron, yellow and green and has the map of the 13 districts at the center.