Karnataka Bandh: Pro-Kannada activists take out bike rally in deserted Bengaluru

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Some activists from the Kannada Rakshana Vedike tried to stop trains from operating at the City Railway station in the morning, but they were quickly dispersed by the police.

"This shows the Parivarthana Rally of the BJP has instilled fear in the mind of the Congress Party", alleged Shah, adding that the Siddaramaiah government, which halted buses and imposed a total shutdown in the state, would try to do it again on February 4, to disrupt Prime Minister Narendra Modi's rally at Bengaluru.

Buses were off the road in nearly all parts of the State.

Private schools, some shops and government offices will likely remain shut.

Public transport like buses and autos are also expected to run normally.

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Speaking to Press persons here yesterday, Vatal Nagaraj said that various Kannada organisations and farmer associations have supported the Jan.25 bandh that has been called to press for finding an early solution to Mahadayi row.

"Today's state-sponsored Karnataka bandh imposed on people by deploying police forces and halting transport services by the Siddaramaiah government has only proved it", said Shah, who was addressing the Parivarthana Rally of the BJP that culminated at Mysuru. Institutes in Ramnagara district will also remain closed during the day.

Meanwhile Congress admitted that the bandh was timed to coincide with the BJP leader's state visit. Hundreds of women took out a procession holding empty pots in Dharwad and a procession of dogs was taken out in Haveri to demand Karnataka's share of water.

The 77-km Mahadayi or Mandovi river originates at Bhimgad in the Western Ghats in Belagavi district of north-west Karnataka and flows into Goa and eventually joins the Arabian Sea off the west coast. Pro-Kannada organisations led by the Karnataka Rakshana Vedike are also staging rail roko. A similar bandh is planned for February 4 when PM Modi campaigns in the poll-bound state. However, in 2002, the water sharing issue turned into a full-blown crisis when then Chief Minister of Karnataka SM Krishna built canals over the two tributaries of Mahadayi - Kalasa and Banduri.

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