Kannada outfits drop bandh plan after talks with CM

Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai
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Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai

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After talks with Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai, the Kannada organisations have taken back the decision to observe a bandh in the state on Friday.

Bengaluru: After talks with Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai, the Kannada organisations have taken back the decision to observe a bandh in the state on Friday. The bandh call was given to condemn the burning of the Kannada flag and demanding a ban on the Maharashtra Ekikarana Samithi (MES).

"Kannada activists have taken back their decision to observe bandh after considering my request. I thank them," CM Bommai stated on Thursday. Home Minister Araga Jnanendra had also requested the activists to drop their plan for a bandh and assured them that the government is ready to protect the interests of the Kannada language, culture and its people.

The bandh (shutdown) call for December 31 was given by Kannada organisations under the leadership of activist Vatal Nagaraj in the backdrop of the desecration of freedom fighter Sangolli Rayanna and social reformer Basavanna statues in Belagavi. However, prominent Kannada organisations backed out of the bandh call saying that it won't serve any purpose. The Karnataka Rakshana Vedike under the leadership of Narayana Gowda declared that it won't support the bandh call.

The organization staged a massive protest urging a ban on the MES on Thursday. Another Kannada activist Praveen Shetty also declared that his organization would not support the bandh. The traders and businessmen also voiced concern that they were already badly hit by the Covid pandemic and they will lose heavily if they had to close down their business establishments on Friday.

The government has already initiated action against the accused who desecrated the statues. The government has slapped sedition charges against them and also booked them under the Goonda Act. Belagavi, the district sharing a border with Maharashtra, witnessed developments during the recently concluded assembly session which threatened the peace and harmony in the city. However, the Karnataka government seems to have defused the situation.

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