Karnataka bandh on Jan 25 'politically motivated', says BJP

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Two bandhs have been called in Karnataka on January 25 and February 4 by pro-Kannada outfits in connection with the inter-state Mahadayi river water dispute with Goa.

Showing solidarity with Mahadayi agitators, the Kannada movie sector has extended its support so that no movies will be shot in Karnataka that day, nor will there be any movie shows. Several private schools and state government offices are likely to remain closed on Thursday. "Directions have been issued to police in all 30 districts to maintain law and order", the state's HM had told the media.

Though autorickshaws and cabs were seen plying, they were out in lesser numbers.

Protesters held road-roko protests and tried to disrupt rail services at Bengaluru's Sangolli Rayanna station.

The districts are Belagavi, Bhagalkote, Dharwad and Gadag in the northwest.

With the Mahadayi issue going out of control, the BJP asked Rahul Gandhi to direct the Congress in Goa to agree to sharing water with Karnataka.

Even as the agitators reiterated that the bandh call was given to demand Prime Minister Narendra Modi's intervention, the call for a second bandh in Bengaluru on February 4, which also coincides with a rally by Modi in Bengaluru, has triggered a war of words between the ruling Congress and the BJP.

However, BJP has alleged that the Congress-led Karnataka state government calling a state-wide bandh on Thursday and on February 4 is politically motivated. However, the move was opposed by then Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar, who claimed that the proposal could be ecologically disastrous for the Western Ghats of the coastal state.

Shah, while addressing a Parivartana rally here, assured that the BJP government would bring the culprits to justice after coming to power in the state.

"It was resolved in the last meeting that Congress and BJP leaders in Karnataka would speak and convince their counterparts in Goa on the issue". They are also of the opinion that such bandhs cause inconvenience to the common man, with none of the political parties willing to resolve the Mahadayi water sharing crisis.

Meanwhile, on Thursday, State-owned Kadamba Transport Corporation suspended all bus services to Karnataka, in wake of the one-day strike by Kannada groups, protesting the Central government's apathy towards the water dispute.