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North Karnataka bandh for separate statehood BJP sponsored: DKShiv

Bengaluru: Karnataka Water Resources Minister D K Shivakumar termed as "BJP sponsored" the call for north Karnataka bandh given by various outfits demanding separate statehood for the region.

"Uttara Karnataka bandh is sponsored by BJP...where did the issue start? Who have spoken? They are the ones who are dividing the state," Shivakumar said.

"At any cost this government and Congressparty will take Akhanda Karnataka (United Karnataka) forward; we will not allow any injustice to happen to any part of this state..we will treat every one equally," he said.

A day-long bandh has been called in 13 districts of north Karnataka tomorrow, alleging discrimination by successive governments towards the region.

'Uttara Karnataka Pratyeka Rajya Horata Samiti' (North Karnataka Separate Statehood Protest Committee) has allegeddiscrimination in allocation towards the region in the budgetpresented by Kumaraswamy on July 5, and also inadequate representation in the cabinet.

Samiti representatives had yesterday met ChiefMinister H D Kumaraswamy, who sought to mollify them by expressing his government's strong commitment for the region's development.

He also said the state government was mulling shifting certain government offices to the 'Suvarna Vidhana Soudha' inthe region, in an attempt to address alleged discrimination.

Following the meeting with Kumaraswamy, Samiti president Somashekar Kotambari had yesterday said a decision on continuing with the bandh would be taken only after discussion with other organisations that supported the bandh.

While some groups and organisations have said they will go ahead with the bandh, others have decided not to support it.

BJP state chief B S Yeddyurappa has blamed Kumaraswamy for giving room to the demand for statehood for North Karnatka.

He, however, did not support dividing Karnataka and said whatever shortcomings were there could be set right.

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