Karnataka bandh evokes poor response across state

BENGALURU: Karnataka bandh called by the BJP demanding the state government to make an announcement on farm loan waiver evoked poor response in most parts of the state on Monday. It was, however, a mixed response in a few places like Kodagu, Hassan and Karwar.

On Friday, BJP state president B S Yeddyurappa had called for the state bandh and had requested people to voluntarily support the bandh for the farmers’ cause. However, farmer organisations and pro-Kannada outfits had not extended their support to the bandh.

Schools, colleges and business establishments remained open across the state. In some places like Raichur, BJP workers allegedly tried to forcibly close commercial establishments. In Mysuru, police arrested BJP members including elected representatives for trying to stop bus services. In many districts, police took BJP workers into custody when they tried to take out protest marches.

In Kodagu, the bandh call received a good response, while in Hassan, business establishments were closed till afternoon. In Uttara Kannada district too, the bandh evoked mixed response as all shops in Karwar were closed.

Yeddyurappa said the bandh was successful across the state. The state government used police force to prevent BJP workers from taking out peaceful protest march in many places, he said. “What was the need to arrest our MPs and MLAs? Don’t we have the right to protest peacefully?” he asked. He added that Kumaraswamy, who had promised farm loan waiver within 24 hours after taking over as the CM, is now giving lame excuses.

The BJP, he said, will wait for another week and work on its plan to launch statewide agitation. “Today, three farmers committed suicide in the state. Who is responsible for that? Had the farm loan waiver been announced as promised, they would not have taken the extreme step,” the BJP leader said. “Going by the developments in the last few days, the Chief Minister is busy with his own ministry formation and other issues. They are not concerned about helping farmers,” he added.

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