Karnataka CM BS Yediyurappa termed the December 5 state-wide bandh called by pro-Kannada groups ‘unnecessary’ & vowed strict action against protestors burning effigies and exhibiting unruly behaviour.
Upset over the Karnataka government’s decision to allot Rs 50 crore for the Maratha Development Board in the state, pro-Kannda groups led by Vatal Nagraj called for a bandh on December 5 and demanded separate boards be set up for different communities and castes.
CM Yediyurappa appealed to the activists to withdraw the bandh and explained that the government was just attempting to do justice to all sections of the society and that it was for the Maratha people residing in the state & that it had nothing to do with the Marathi language.
Speaking to reporters, the Karnataka CM said that he was ready for all that was require to be done for the people of the state nut opposed the bandh and said that the public will not appreciate such calls.
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« I’m observing the burning of effigies and bad behaviours. We will have to take strict action. Let them protest peacefully, but the government will not tolerate attempts to give it a different turn, » CM Yediyurappa said, speaking to reporters.
« Let them (Kannada groups/activists) understand this and withdraw their bandh. I request the activists for cooperation with folded hands, » he added.
Pro-Kannada groups have called for a state-wide bandh in Karnataka on December 5 to protest against CM Yediyurappa’s decision to earmark Rs 50 crores for the Maratha Development Board. On 13th November, Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa issued a circular stating that there will be a separate fund of Rs 50 crore allocated for the development of Marathas in the state. The circular mentioned that there is a large number of Marathas living in the state. The fund will be utilised for the financial, social and educational development of Marathas. Terming the government’s decision as ‘anti-Kannada’ and ‘divisive’, pro-Kannada groups led by Kannada Chaluvali Vatal Paksha chief Vatal Nagaraj called for a bandh on Friday after meeting members of various unions.
As per reports, the pro-Kannada groups have accused the government of allotting the money to the Maratha Development Board to win the by-polls in Basavakalyan and have demanded separate boards to be set up for other communities as well. The Karnataka bandh has received support from auto-rickshaw- and cab-unions after their respective members extended their support to the pro-Kannada groups, as per reports. Bars are also expected to stay shut on December 5. Other trade union members were also present in the meeting with Vatal Nagraj on Friday.
Political opposition leaders have criticised this particular move of the government. They questioned the timing of the announcement. Karnataka Border constituencies Belagavi and Basavakalyan will witness by-poll elections in the near future. Talking to media, Opposition party leader Siddaramaiah said, « There are so many communities which need the development fund. In my view, if they have contributed to the development of this community, they should do to other communities as well. « Belagavi will witness a vacant Lok Sabha seat after the demise of Union Minister Suresh Angadi. The death of Congress MLA B Narayana Rao due to Covid-19 in October necessitated byelection to Basavakalyan. Though the dates of the by-poll are not yet announced, this particular move by CM is seen by some as an attempt to influence the voters.
B. S. Yediyurappa, Kannada, Chief minister, Maratha, Vatal Nagaraj
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