The Karnataka bandh called for by the Karnataka Sanghatanegala Okkuta on February 13, Thursday, is unlikely to hit many services in Bengaluru. The bandh has been called to demand the implementation of the Sarojini Mahishi report, which recommends job reservations to Kannadigas in the state in both the private and government sectors.
Public transportation including the Namma Metro and the Bengaluru Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) will function as normal. Indian Express reported that the Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) staff and workers associations are yet to decide if they will participate in the bandh.
However, cab services may take a hit from 6 am to 6 pm as cab owners and auto drivers who are part of Adarsha Auto and Taxi Union and Jai Bharatha Vehicle Owners and Drivers Association are set to take part in the bandh.
"Association of Ola and Uber drivers in the city have extended support for the bandh. We agree that the recommendations laid down in the Sarojini Mahishi report should be implemented. It will be a boost for Ola and Uber drivers too," says Tanveer Pasha, President of Ola, Uber Drivers and Owners Association, Bengaluru told TNM.
â€œThere are over 90,000 auto drivers in our union and all of them are supporting the bandh. There are around 1.5 lakh auto drivers and we have urged all of them to be a part of the bandh. We don't know how many other autos will operate tomorrow but our union members will not," said Manjunath, President of the Adarsha Auto-rickshaw Drivers' Union.
However, it is unclear how many cabs will continue to ply in Bengaluru as they are not part of the union or association.
Many other organisations have also supported the bandh called on February 13. This includes the Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce (KFCC), Lorry Owners Association, Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) among others.
A large rally will be taken out from the Town Hall to Freedom Park, with participation from pontiffs of over 40 mutts across the state, said Karnataka Sanghatanegala Okkuta President HB Nagesh to Times of India, who added that farmers unions will also participate in the strike.
However, ToI quoted Police Commissioner Bhasker Rao saying that no organisation had applied for permission from the police for a protest or bandh.
The Karnataka government under Chief Minister Ramakrishna Hegde had in 1983 appointed a committee led by four-time MP Saojini Mahishi to look into reservation for Kannadigas in the state. The Sarojini Mahishi report was prepared in 1986 and it recommended job reservations for Kannadigas in government jobs, public sector units and even in the private sector. Many of the 58 recommendations made in the report have been implemented by successive state governments in power in the state. Many pro-Kannada organisations have pointed to the recommendations made in the report asking for a greater share of jobs in Karnataka for Kannadigas.