The demand for a separate North Karnataka state has once again gained momentum in the state with several activists calling for a bandh.
On Wednesday, the President of the Uttara Karnataka Horata Samiti, Somashekar Kotambari said that the state government was doling out “step-motherly treatment” to the districts of north Karnataka.
He called for a bandh in the 13 districts of North Karnataka on August 2 as a show of strength against the “government’s attitude” towards solving the Mahadayi water dispute.
“The northern districts of Karnataka have been perpetually neglected and our farmers are facing so many problems. The northern districts have been allotted negligible funds in this year’s budget (2018-19). None of the governments in the past have helped north Karnataka and it looks like the same attitude will continue. That’s why we are calling for a bandh demanding that North Karnataka be made a separate state,” Kotambari said.
The Uttara Karnataka Horata Samiti members also said that they have approached various other activists and organisations in the northern districts, who are willing to support their cause. The members of the UKHS expressed their disappointment regarding Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy’s statement on Monday regarding the demand of waiving loans from farmers in Koppala.
“The Chief Minister had said that the people of Koppala must be happy about the loan waiver. He had said that even though they did not vote for him, he was being nice and had decided to help them. It is the duty of every elected representative, especially the Chief Minister to act in the interest of the people. He must not hold grudges. How can we be certain of any development if this is the case,” he alleged.
The UKHS has demanded that the state government form an expert committee to evaluate the demand for a separate state of North Karnataka and to also submit the committee’s report to the Central government for approval.
“If they do not take us seriously, we will intensify our agitation and protest outside the home of every minister and MLA,” he said.
The samiti also demanded the state government immediately resolve the Mahadayi water dispute and ease the pain of farmers in the drought-ridden districts.