The state-wide Karnataka bandh called on Saturday by pro-Kannada organisations led by Vatal Nagaraj, many factions of the Karnataka Rakshana Vedike turned to be a damp squib. In state capital Bengaluru, auto rickshaws, app-hailed cabs, BMTC buses and metro services ran as per normal. There were no incidents of violence reported. Normal life remained unaffected in other parts of the state as well with eateries and provision stores being open for business as usual.
Protests were reported in Chamarajanagar, Bengaluru Rural, Gadag, Koppal, Hassan, Ramanagara, Chitradurga, Davangere, Bagalkote, Chikkamagaluru, Mandya among other districts so far.
However, there was no major incidents of traffic movement being stalled.
Both Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation and Karnataka State Transport Corporation officials said that none of their planned schedules were affected due to the strike.
As a precautionary measure, security was beefed up around Chief Minister's official residence and home office in Bengaluru, where some activists have planned to lay siege. Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa is in Belagavi to attend the BJP's state executive meeting.
The protesters are objecting to formation of Maratha Development Corporation and an allocation of Rs 50 crore for the same. The pro-Kannada organisations had set a November 30 deadline for the government to withdraw its decision to establish Maratha Development Corporation. While the government did not go back on its decision, CM Yediyurappa had urged the protesters to withdraw their call for strike. He assured them that Kannadigas and Kannada was his government's utmost priority.
The government's decision to create a body for the Maratha community is seen as a move by the ruling BJP to woo the community ahead of the Belagavi Lok Sabha, Maski and Basavakalyan assembly bypolls, which are yet to be announced. The community is said to have considerable presence there.