Farmers have said they will cut off the water supply in the homes of political leaders if they don’t set a date for a meeting of the chief ministers of Goa and Karnataka.

Mahadayi issue is about water not politics Farmers express disappointment
news Mahadayi Issue Wednesday, December 27, 2017 - 14:45

With the Bharatiya Janata Party, Congress, the Janata Dal (Secular) and Communist Party of India (Marxist) all jumping into the Mahadayi River row bandwagon, agitating protestors have accused the parties of politicising the issue.

The agitating farmers, who had marched to the Raj Bhavan to meet Governor Vajubhai Vala, expressed disappointment when the Governor refused to meet them. 

"The Governor did not meet us as he said that we did not have an appointment. The political parties are not listening to our grievances nor do they support our cause, but they are just fighting their own battles. We thought the governor could help us, but he also refused to meet us. We had our hopes pinned on the governor’s intervention, but that has also been crushed,” said Viresh Sobaradhmath, President of the Karnataka Raita Sene.

He added, “We want the Prime Minister to intervene. We have come from far away and have been protesting for long, but no one is listening to us.”

Angered by the turn of events, the farmers marched to the Election Commission Office in Bengaluru and submitted a memorandum and requested the Election Commissioner to not conduct the Assembly polls till the issue is resolved.

"None of the political parties have helped us. We do not want these leaders. Hence, we asked the Election Commission to suspend the elections," Viresh said.

The farmers marched to the Chief Minister's residence and also the home of JD(S) supremo HD Deve Gowda to submit memorandums, requesting them to help resolve the Mahadayi issue.

In Bengaluru, BJP and Congress cadre had a spat outside the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee.

When the BJP workers tried to shut down the KPCC office, they were detained by the police. Meanwhile, Congress Working President SR Patil held a press conference and said that the government has sent several letters to both Goa and Maharashtra, but had not received any response.

"The farmers are suffering because of the politics played by BJP. They are doing satyagraha and even showed their unhappiness to Yeddyurappa when he tried to speak to them yesterday. What is the BJP trying to do by protesting in front of Congress office? Will they solve anything?” asked Patil.

“BJP leaders should meet Narendra Modi, convince him and resolve the issue. There is Ananthkumar Hegde, Sadananda Gowda, who are all central ministers and they have to take responsibility. Narendra Modi has to convene meeting of CMs of Goa, Karnataka and Maharashtra. Otherwise it won't be resolved," Patil added.

Farmers in north Karnataka are demanding that the leaders need to support their cause and not indulge in a political blame game.

"Why are the BJP and Congress blaming each other? They need to ensure that the Chief Ministers of Maharashtra and Goa are brought to the table to begin deliberations. The BJP is in power at the Centre, Goa and also in Maharashtra. The only reason we approached Yeddyurappa was to ensure that Prime Minister Modi intervenes. But what we have realised is that all the political leaders do not want to resolve this issue,” said Gangadhar Meti, President of Bagalakote Raitha Sangha.

“If they do, then they will not have a topic to blame each other and try to win votes. We are struggling for water and they are only thinking about political gains,” he added.

Farmers in Dharwad, meanwhile, have threatened to cut off the water supply to the houses of all the leaders.

"Why are the political leaders protesting against each other in Bengaluru instead of addressing our concerns? We have issued the politicians in Dharwad an ultimatum. By 6 pm (on Wednesday), if they do not stop politicising the issue and ensure that talks between leaders of the three states begins, then we will cut off water supply to the homes of all political leaders in the district," said Shobha Chaluvadi, District President of the Dharwad Raitha Sangha.

Farmers protesting in the North Karnataka districts, have also threatened to install 'nakabandhi' and check vehicles carrying goods to Maharashtra and Goa.

Mandya also held protests and demanded that the political leaders come together and resolve the issue.

"Does the leader (the Prime Minister) of our country not care that so many farmers have died? That so many farmers have committed suicide because we don't have water? We will show these leaders what it is like to live without water," said Kodihalli Chandrashekar, a member of the Karnataka Raitha Sangha.


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