BJP workers accompanied by farmers protested outside the KPCC office and then the Congress jumped in.

The politicking over Mahadayi BJP and Congress protest outside KPCC office in Bengaluru
news Politics Wednesday, December 27, 2017 - 13:15

The Mahadayi issue has for decades been a topic for politicking. However, Wednesday's protest brought to fore the political blame game being played by both the BJP and the Congress.

On Wednesday morning, BJP workers, and a few farmers backed by the saffron party staged a protest outside the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee office in Bengaluru's Queen's Road.

Simultaneously, Congress party workers, who were backing a few other farmers, staged a protest against the BJP opposite their own party office.

Over 300 police personnel were deployed for security purposes and they had set up barricades to keep members of the two parties from clashing.

On one side of the barricade, BJP-backed protesters shouted slogans against the ruling government. They booed Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and alleged that "the government had not resolved the Mahadayi issue in the past four-and-a-half years".

The Congress-backed farmers shouted slogans stating that despite several letters and requests, "the BJP-led Centre, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the BJP CM of Goa Manohar Parrikar" had not responded to the Karnataka government's requests.

 

A few BJP supporters were taken into custody when they tried to barge into the Congress office. 

"Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has written to Goa CM asking him to release water on humanitarian grounds, he has not responded to the letter. Instead of standing united with the farmers, the BJP is trying to politicise the issue," Karnataka Water Resource Minister MB Patil said. 

Condemning the Congress, BJP State President BS Yeddyurappa said, "The Congress is lighting fire to an issue instead of resolving it peacefully." 

Meanwhile farmers, who were protesting outside the BJP party office sine the last three days, marched to Raj Bhavan and submitted a request to the Governor to intervene. 

This third group of farmers alleged that the political parties did not really care about resolving the issue, but had turned the farmers' cause into an opportunity to garner votes for the upcoming polls. 

"Political parties and leaders are just talking about it but we need to see a resolution and we need water in the drought-prone areas,” said Kurubara Shanthakumar, a member of  the Karnataka Raitha Sangha. 

Protests have erupted in several districts of North Karnataka including Dharwad, Gadag, Hubballi and Bagalkote. 

The farmers expressed their ‘disappointment’ over the tone of Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar’s letter to Yeddyurappa over the Mahadayi water sharing issue. BJP leaders claimed that they had held negotiations with Goa CM Manohar Parrikar and had reached a compromise over the sharing of Mahadayi River water. 

Leaders from the Congress and Janata Dal (Secular) met the protesting farmers as well in an attempt to appease them.

 

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