North Karnataka bandh call for statehood fails to evoke response

North Karnataka bandh call for statehood fails to evoke response
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A bandh call given today by several outfits in 13 districts of north Karnataka, demanding statehood for the region, failed to elicit any response.
Schools, colleges, commercial establishments and government offices functioned as usual, as was the public transport, officials said.
A confusion had persisted since last evening as Uttara Karnataka Pratyeka Rajya Horata Samiti (North Karnataka Separate Statehood Protest Committee) had withdrawn the bandh call after their meeting with Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy.
However, some other outfits, including the local Raitha Sangha (farmers union) that had supported the bandh call, decided to go ahead with the shutdown.
Various organisations from the Hyderabad-Karnataka region, the six districts in the north-east of Karnataka, had also opposed the statehood demand.
Life was normal in almost all parts of the north Karnataka region, but symbolic protests were held in all the districts, following which memorandums were submitted to tehsildars or the district administration, officials said.
The bandh was called by the outfits which alleged discrimination by successive governments towards the region.
Uttara Karnataka Pratyeka Rajya Horata Samiti also alleged discrimination in allocation towards the region in the budget presented by Kumaraswamy on July 5, and inadequate representation in the cabinet.
The Samiti representatives had on Tuesday met the chief minister, who sought to mollify them by expressing his government’s strong commitment for the regions developent.
Kumaraswamy had said the state government was mulling shifting certain government offices to Suvarna Vidhana Soudha at Belagavi, in an attempt to address the alleged discrimination.The bandh call had also resulted in a political slugfest between the Congress-JD(S) ruling coalition and opposition BJP, with each blaming the other for instigating “separatist sentiments”.
Reacting to the bandh, Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara said it was not successful as it lacked public support.
He urged the political parties, including the BJP, not to use such issues for political reasons.
BJP’s national general secretary P Muralidhar Rao, who is in charge of the state, said his party stands for a united Karnataka and the demand for separate statehood for the northern region was because of the neglect and irresponsible behaviour of both JD(S) and Congress, which are running a coalition government.“