A bandh called in Karnataka by the Kannada Chaluvali Vatal Paksha leader Vatal Nagaraj on April 12 has been cancelled.
"The bandh which was planned for April 12 will not be held. The Central government has remained silent on the issue of Cauvery Management Board and it appears that nothing will happen in this regard till May 3. We will not stop the protest. We will continue it but only after May 3. Besides, there are exams being conducted across the state and our intention is not to inconvenience people with the bandh," Vatal Nagaraj said in a press conference in Bengaluru's Press Club.
The bandh was initially called on April 6 in response to the stir in Tamil Nadu due to the non-formation of the Cauvery Management Board (CMB).
Vatal Nagaraj had called for the bandh during a protest near Attibele on the Karnataka-Tamil Nadu border. He had also urged the Centre to not give into pressure from Tamil Nadu over the formation of Cauvery Management Board.
Farmer groups across the state do not want the formation of the CMB and refused to support the bandh.
Ramaswamy Reddy, the legal advisor to farmer groups in the state said that they did not plan to support the bandh, but may register some sort of protest.
Kurubhara Shantakumar, President of the Karnataka Sugarcane Growers Association said that farmer groups in the state were opposed to the bandh called on April 12.
"We believe that the CMB should not be constituted since the Supreme Court verdict only mentioned a scheme to divide the water. We welcome the SC verdict on water division between TN And Karnataka but we don't support the bandh called by pro-Kannada groups on April 12," Shantakumar earlier told TNM.
The call for the bandh came after thousands in Tamil Nadu held a protest on April 5 against the non-formation of the CMB.
The Supreme Court in its February 16 verdict on the Cauvery water sharing dispute reduced Tamil Nadu's share of water to 177.25 tmc ft while increasing the water allotted to Karnataka by 14.75 tmc ft. The apex court directed the Centre to form a scheme within six weeks, which Tamil Nadu interpreted as the formation of the Cauvery Management Board. This deadline expired on March 29, following which the Tamil Nadu government filed a contempt petition in the Supreme Court. The matter was heard on Monday, where the apex court asked the Centre to frame a draft scheme by May 3.
Karnataka has opposed the formation of the Board since the word 'Board' is not specified in the verdict. Karnataka does not want the board to be set up as the state would have to give up control over its dams.