Monday, August 03, 2009

Parties neutral, Kannada bodies firm on bandh

Parties neutral, Kannada bodies firm on bandh

Hemanth Kumar. Bangalore



The shrouded Tiruvalluvar near Ulsoor lake continues to haunt the state government as pro-Kannada outfits have refused to withdraw their call for a Bangalore bandh on August 9, in protest against the unveiling of the statue scheduled for that day.
Hoping to resolve the issue through a dialogue, chief minister BS Yeddyurappa has convened a meeting of leaders of all political parties and Kannada outfits on Monday. Leaders of the Karnataka Rakshana Vedike (KRV) and Kannada Chaluvali Vatal Paksha (KCVP), besides the Congress, JD(S) and BJP, have been invited for the meeting. "It is not fair to vitiate the atmosphere when the Tamil Nadu government has agreed to unveil the statue of Kannada saint-poet Sarvajna in Chennai on August 13 as a reciprocal gesture to our unveiling of Tamil saint-poet Tiruvalluvar's statue on August 9. I am hopeful of convincing the leaders of the Kannada outfits to withdraw their proposed protest and help us in fostering harmonious ties between Kannadigas and Tamilians," Yeddyurappa said on Sunday.
However, leaders of the Kannada outfits have rejected the chief minister's appeal. "I will attend the meeting. But there will be no change in our stand or opposition to the unveiling of the Tiruvalluvar statue. Unveiling of a Tiruvalluvar statue in Bangalore and Sarvajna's statue in Chennai will not end the bitter feelings that Kannadigas have against Tamil Nadu," KCVP president and former MLA Vatal Nagaraj told DNA.
"Tamil Nadu should immediately stop the Hogenakkal drinking water project being executed in the territory which belongs to Karnataka. While Karnataka is eager to please Tamilians by unveiling Tiruvalluvar's statue, is Tamil Nadu ready to show the same spirit of accommodation in sharing the Cauvery waters?" he wondered.
A conglomeration of over 100 Kannada outfits have supported the Bangalore bandh call on August 9 and Nagaraj said they would not withdraw it unless Tamil Nadu chief minister MKKarunanidhi makes positive gestures on Hogenakkal and Cauvery issues.
But Yeddyurappa could hope for some relief from the Opposition. Both the Congress and JD(S) have maintained a neutral stand over the issue. KPCC president RV Deshpande welcomed the effort and suggested that both the states should celebrate the event in Bangalore and Chennai as a cultural festival, with participation of not just from politicians, but also artists, litterateurs and intellectuals.

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