Despite chief minister BS Yediyurappa's warning against shutting down of businesses forcefully, several pro-Kannada groups announced a state-wide bandh today to protest the formation of the Maratha Development Authority (MDA) and sanctioning of Rs 50 crore for the 'overall development of Maratha people'.
The pro-bandh groups claimed many are in favour of the total shutdown and are hoping for a successful enforcement. Meanwhile, security deployment has been beefed up across the state to prevent forceful closure of businesses and any untoward incidents. In Bengaluru alone, 14,000 police personnel have been deployed.
These organisations have demanded the BS Yediyurappa-led government to give up its decision to form the MDA. Veteran politician Vatal Nagaraj, who is leading the agitation, said that Kannada pride is the fulcrum of this agitation.
Nagaraj alleged the government tried to threaten the protesting groups through police force. The CM appealed to the protestors to not go ahead with the bandh call. Yediyurappa said, "I appeal to everyone including Vatal Nagaraj, not to trouble people with Karnataka Bandh. It is not required." He added he is making efforts to take all communities along and doing everything to give prominence to the Kannada language.
Businesses to be affected
- Transport facilities are likely to be hit as some auto-rickshaw and taxi unions have announced their support to the bandh.
- Public transport services like bus and metro likely to run as usual unless the situation gets worse.
- Restaurants and hotel owners have declared "moral support" but businesses will run as usual.
- According to Vatal Nagaraj, commercial establishments and malls are likely to be shut across Karnataka today.