Farmers in 13 districts of north Karnataka are to begin a fresh protest on Friday over the Kalasa-Banduri project.

Karnataka farmers threaten to not repay loans if Kalasa-Banduri project doesnt beginRepresentation Photo
news Mahadayi Issue Thursday, January 02, 2020 - 17:01

The ongoing protests in northern Karnataka over the Kalasa-Banduri project has intensified. Farmers in 13 districts of north Karnataka are set to begin a fresh protest, starting Friday, where they will refuse to pay back loans they took for agricultural purposes.

Vijay Kulkarni, the man, who spearheaded the Mahadayi movement in Karnataka, said that the protesters will resort to civil disobedience if necessary.

“We the farmers are the ones who elected the government. We will put up signboards outside our house saying that we will not pay back the loans to nationalized banks unless the Kalasa-Banduri project construction begins. Our country’s founding fathers defied the British and refuse to pay taxes as a sign of protest. They protested against the British, we are protesting against the government as they have caused us grave injustice,” Vijay Kulkarni said.

The protests, he said, would be peaceful and this time around, none of the farmers would go to New Delhi to hold protests and that they would stop the elected MPs from entering their constituencies, if their demands are not met.

“Pralhad Joshi (Union Minister of Parliamentary Affairs and MP from Hubballi-Dharwad) used to be a part of the movement that demanded the construction of the Kalasa-Banduri project in 2001. We worked together to demand drinking water for people here. Now he is only interested in politics. The movement has been sidetracked by politicians from BJP, Congress and JD(S). We will teach them a befitting lesson in the next elections if our demands are not met. We will stop them from entering the constituencies,” he said.

He says that this time around, protesters are also demanding that the 25 BJP MPs who were elected from Karnataka must bring up the issue in Parliament.

“We are already holding protests in various districts including Belagavi, Gadag, Vijayapura and Hubballi-Dharwad demanding that the project be constructed. There is a BJP government at the Centre and state. If the 25 BJP MPs make up their mind, they can ensure that the construction can begin quickly. Why is no one talking about this in Parliament?” he questioned. 

Read: Will intensify protests until PM intervenes in Kalasa-Banduri project: Karnataka farmers



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