Karnataka bandh receives lukewarm response in Mangaluru


Team Udayavani, Dec 5, 2020, 8:38 AM IST

Bengaluru: A Karnataka bandh called by some of the pro-Kannada organizations on Saturday, December 5 failed to evoke any response as normal life remained unaffected in Dakshina Kannada district.

Though stray incidents of stone-pelting were reported in Bengaluru, Karnataka remained largely peaceful during the day. Bus, autorickshaw, and taxi services were plying as normal.

Reportedly, protests are being held in several parts of the State, however, normal life was not disrupted.

Various pro-Kannada organizations are up in arms against the formation of the Maratha Development Authority, which the Chief Minister had announced on November 14 and earmarked Rs 50 crore for the ”overall development of Maratha people”.

In view of the bandh call, the police have beefed up security across the state to prevent any untoward incident and forcible closure of shops and commercial establishments.

In Bengaluru, about 14,000 policemen will be deployed.

The move to set up the MDA was seen as an attempt to woo Marathas who are dominant in Basava Kalyan in Bidar district, bordering with Maharashtra.

Assembly by-election is due in Basava Kalyan following the death of the sitting Congress MLA B Narayan Rao due to coronavirus a few months ago.

The decision led to the growing clamour for various other development authorities and development corporations.

The government further announced the formation of Veerashaiva Lingayat Development Corporation with a fund of Rs 500 crore.

Basava Kalyan is an important pilgrimage for the people of Lingayat sect, as it was the ”Karmabhoomi” of the founder of the sect and 12th century social reformer Basaveshwara.

Yet, these measures did not impress the pro-Kannada organisations.

They want the government to withdraw the MDA for the reason that Marathis keep demanding secession of Belagavi district from Karnataka and merger with Maharashtra as the district has a sizeable Marathi population for being at the border of the two states.

The Belagavi-based Maharasthra Ekikaran Samiti, which led the agitation for the merger of Belagavi with Maharashtra had even managed to send some of its members to the Karnataka Assembly.

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