Mangaluru, Feb 19: Amidst frenzied campaign for Zilla Panchayath and Taluk by political parties, a group under the banner of Sahyadri Sanchaya is carrying out 'press NOTA' (None of the Above) campaign across the coastal district Dakshina Kannada (DK).
The aim of the campaigners is to send out a strong message through electoral process- disgruntlement of the people of DK with the political class over implementation of a river diversion project, Yettinahole river diversion project, which does not enjoy the favour of locals.
It could be recalled that the people of DK has been protesting against implementation of the project, that seeks to divert water from key streams (water source for river Netravati, life line of DK) to other parched districts, manily Chikballapur of Karnataka.
The campaign that has kick started recently has been covering many areas of Dakshina Kannada, namely B C Road, Bantwal, Uppinangadi, Ujire, Kalladka, Mundaje and others. The campaigners moving through many areas educating the voters on significance and need of NOTA.
Dinesh Holla, member of Sahyadri Sanchaya speaking to OneIndia said, campaign is to secure the life line of Dakshina Kannada, Netravati. Despite massive protests held in this area, the state government refused to heed to the demands of the people to stop the implementation of the river diversion project.
To press the demand further Sahyadri Sanchaya is taking out NOTA campaign in the district requesting the voters to exercise NOTA to send out strong message to the government, Dinesh informed.
The interests of the locals have been beleaguered by the Congress led state government and also by other political parties who have been sadly toeing the state's line. "The locals have been carrying out protests since 3 years but to no yield as government refusing to budge an inch.
Though many environment activists presented argument saying the project of diverting river is technically non-feasible, the government is pouring Rs 13, 000 crores to materialise the project. "This has miffed the people here."
Holla said the people have been responding positively to the campaigners and agreeing to press NOTA to save the life line of the place. He hoped the election may see as many as 30,000 to 40,000 people franchising NOTA.