Karnataka CM warns stern action against ‘forced bandh’ on December 5

South India

The protestors say that the decision to allocate Rs 50 crore for setting up the Maratha Development Board was with an eye on the Basavakalyan and Maski bye-elections.

Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa on Saturday, November 21, appealed to pro-Kannada groups to withdraw the call for a state-wide bandh on December 5 against the government’s decision to set up a Marathwada Development Board.

He told reporters in Bengaluru that the government would take strict action against those, who “forcibly impose a bandh” in the state. He said that he would not allow a forced bandh anywhere across the state.

The bandh call given pro-Kannada groups has received backing from several quarters. Among those who have supported the bandh are Karnataka Bar Owners’ Association and various bodies representing cab auto rickshaw drivers.

On Saturday, pro-Kannada groups staged a protest in Bengaluru’s Maurya Circle and several other parts of the state, demanding that the government withdraw its decision to allocate Rs 50 crore for setting up the Maratha Development Board ahead of the Basavakalyan and Maski bye-elections, reported the News Minute.

“I am asking all pro-Kannada organisations to come and be a part of the bandh on December 5. We are requesting the government to withdraw its decision to set up the Maratha Development Board. If the government does this before December 5, we will call off the bandh,” Vatal Nagaraj said.

The protestors burnt effigies and shouted slogans against the government’s decision. They were detained by the police in Bengaluru and Gadag.

Reacting to the protests, Yediyurappa said that he was for Kannada and Kannadigas. “I am ready to take any measures for their welfare. I will not allow any groups to force a bandh anywhere. I have noticed that they have burnt effigies and resorted to disruptive activities. This will not be tolerated,” BS Yediyurappa was quoted by NM as saying.

The Chief Minister said that protests can be held peacefully but he would not allow a bandh to take place. He said that the protests were taking a ‘different colour” for reasons that were other than “development of Kannadigas”.

Image Credit: Republic World

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