A bandh has been called in Karnataka by the Kannada Chaluvali Vatal Paksha leader Vatal Nagaraj on April 12, in response to the ongoing stir due to the non-formation of the Cauvery Management Board in Tamil Nadu.
He announced this during a protest near Attibele on the Karnataka-Tamil Nadu border, where he demanded that the Centre not to give into pressure from Tamil Nadu for the formation of the Cauvery Management Board.
“It is a pity that neither of the mainstream political parties in the State are talking about the issue. It is critical that Karnataka registers its protest against the formation of the board,” Vatal told The Hindu.
However, while farmer groups across the state do not want the formation of the CMB, they are not in support of the bandh either.
Ramaswamy Reddy, the legal advisor to farmer groups in the state said that they do 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," he said.
Kurubhara also said that a bandh is not the right way to go about this.
"A bandh is not the right way to go about this. It will disrupt daily life and we don't want that. The Chaluvali has also gone ahead and planned this on their own without consultation," he added.
"We have constituted a meeting tomorrow of farmer group leaders to discuss the same and we will take a decision on what kind of protest we will hold. As of now, we don't think a bandh will be useful. We oppose the constitution of the Cauvery Management Board but we believe there are other ways to take this forward,” he said.
Thousands in Tamil Nadu took to the streets on Thursday after a bandh was called by the opposition DMK and other parties over the Centre’s alleged failure to form the Cauvery Management Board.
On February 16, the Supreme Court had given its final verdict on the Cauvery water sharing dispute, where it 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 6 weeks, which Tamil Nadu interprets as the formation of the Cauvery Management Board. This deadline expired on March 29.
Karnataka, on the other hand, argues that there is no use of the word ‘Board’ in the verdict and suggests alternatives to the CMB. Karnataka does not want the board to be set up as the state would have to give up control over its dams.