Karnataka assembly polls: BJP's Mahadayi card backfires, massive protests erupt

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The Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) attempt to use the Mahadayi row as its trump card in the Karnataka assembly elections seems to have massively backfired. Instead of turning the tide in North Karnataka in favour of the BJP, Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar's letter has led to protests against B S Yeddyurappa. Hundreds of farmers from North Karnataka protested outside the BJP office in Bengaluru on Tuesday shouting slogans against Yeddyurappa.

Protests outside BJP office in Bengaluru

Massive protests were witnessed outside the BJP office in Malleswaram in Bengaluru with farmers from North Karnataka demanding a permanent solution to the Mahadayi row. B S Yeddyurappa's claims at the Hubballi Parivartana rally became the crux of the protest. "Yeddyurappa promised to resolve the issue and we want answers. We will not budge from here until politicians, irrespective of which party they belong to, give us answers. BJP leaders are accusing us farmers of being Congress agents but our fight is for water," said SB Jogannavar, treasurer of Mahadayi Kalasa-Banduri Horata Samiti.

Capitalising on the situation, leaders of the Congress supported the protest against the BJP's Chief Ministerial candidate while Karnataka water resource minister M B Patil addressed the protestors. The Congres highlighted how Parrikar had refused to respond to Chief Minister Siddaramaiah's letters and had allowed the BJP to utilise the matter for electoral gains- further angering the crowds. The charge was vehemently denied by B S Yeddyurappa.

"Siddaramaiah is the root cause of all these issues. He, with Rahul Gandhi's backing, is supporting these protests. They are creating hurdles in getting Karnataka water from Mahadayi," B S Yeddyurappa said in a press conference. His attempts to talk to the protesting farmers were futile with emotions running high. B S Yeddyurappa was seen talking to the protestors attempting to convince them with Parrikar's letter assuring water for drinking purposes. Farmers, who have been protesting for more than 800 days now, were unwilling to accept lipservice and demanded action. An irate Yeddyurappa was booed away by the protestors who vowed to continue protests until a decisive result had been arrived at.

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