BJP MP Pratap Simha was in for a nasty surprise when he attempted to join protesters in Mandya city even as the joint legislature session was underway in the state capital.
Protests continued in Mandya, which has been the site of continuous protests during the ongoing Cauvery despite, even on the day that the joint legislature session was to decide on whether or not to release water to Tamil Nadu. The Supreme Court’s latest directive ordered Karnataka to release 6,000 cusecs to the lower riparian state.
The Mysuru-Kodagu MP joined protesters at the Visveswaraya statue near the DC Office around 1.15 pm on Friday but was shouted down by protesters who heckled him, demanding to know what his party had done for Karnataka’s interests.
There has been some anger against the BJP, which is perceived to have left the farmers in the lurch by categorically stating that the centre must not intervene, a position that is directly at odds with the demand of the farmers’ groups who have been seeking the Prime Minister’s intervention. The party later boycotted the all-party meeting convened by Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Wednesday. On social media too, the BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi have come under fire by people who think the party did not do enough to help solve the crisis.
As people began to demand answers from Pratap Simha, the MP was reportedly appeared taken aback for a moment. However, he addressed the protesters and said that the BJP had always stood behind the farmers protesting the release of the Cauvery’s water to Tamil Nadu.
“We are with the government in this (passing the resolution refusing water). I am here to support you. DV Sadananda Gowda met the prime minister yesterday and apprised him of the people’s problems. From day one, we are the ones who have opposed the release of water to Tamil Nadu,” he said.
He also opposed the establishment of a water board as is being suggested as a permanent solution to end the dispute, if not the actual water problem. “We don’t want the water board to be set up. We should have control over our water,” Pratap said.