Pro-Kannada outfits have called for a bandh in poll-bound Karnataka on April 12 in a counter to the ongoing stir in neighbouring Tamil Nadu for an early setting up of the Centre to form Cauvery Management Board (CMB).
The Karnataka bandh call came amid the DMK-led opposition parties observing a state-wide shutdown in Tamil Nadu on Thursday, demanding early setting up of CMB to ensure water for farmers as per the Supreme Court orders.
Tamil Nadu chief minister K Palaniswami, his deputy O Panneerselvam and other AIADMK leaders had also observed a day-long fast in Chennai on Monday seeking formation of CMB.
Ironically, the CMB has been mandated to be established by the Supreme Court to implement its February 16 verdict on Cauvery water allocation to the riparian states, including Karnataka, whose water share from the river has been raised by 14.75 tmcft per year.
Accordingly, the Karnataka bandh call would give an impression that the Kannada outfits are opposed to an early implementation of the apex court ruling which has enhanced the state's water share.
The Karnataka bandh was announced by Kannada outfit Kannada Chaluvali Vatal Paksha leader Vatal Nagaraj during a protest near Attibele on Karnataka-Tamil Nadu border to press the Centre not to yield to pressure from Tamil leaders on CMB.
Vatal Nagaraj heads the umbrella of Kannada organisations that have called for the bandh. He came down heavily on actors Rajinikanth and Kamal Hassan for supporting the formation of the CMB.
"We will not let the movies of Rajinikanth and Kamal Hassan to be showed in Karnataka. The two film stars should not come to Karnataka under any circumstances," Vatal said.