As pro-Kannada groups decided to go ahead with Karnataka bandh on December 5 against the establishment of the Maratha Development Corporation(MDC), Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa on Saturday asked them to withdraw it, as he warned against any forceful enforcement.
Asserting that he was for Kannada and Kannadigas, Yediyurappa said, “I’m ready for all that is required to be done for Kannadigas, but it is not right to call for bandh for some other reason, people will not appreciate it.” Speaking to reporters here, he said he will not allow forceful enforcement of bandh anywhere.
“I’m observing the burning of effigies and bad behaviours. we will have to take strict action. Let them protest peacefully, but the government will not tolerate attempts to give it a different turn,” he added.
Pro Kannada organisations at a meeting on Friday had decided to go ahead with the bandh on December 5 as planned earlier, and have set a November 30 deadline for the government to withdraw its decision to establish Maratha Development Corporation. Terming the bandh call ”unnecessary,” Yediyurappa had earlier too warned pro-Kannada groups against forcing a bandh on the people of the state. He had even clarified that the decision to set up a Maratha Development Corporation had nothing to do with the Marathi language, and it is for the Maratha community residing in the state.
Noting that his government was making all honest efforts to provide justice to all the sections of the society, Yediyurappa on Saturday said, there is no room for discrimination. “Let them (Kannada groups/activists) understand this and withdraw their bandh. I request the activists for cooperation with folded hands,” he added.
Kannada activists have been opposing the creation of Maratha Development Corporation, ever since the government mooted the move earlier this month. It has now been approved by the cabinet also. The government had earlier announced the setting up of the Maratha Development Authority, but subsequently changed it to corporation, as authority has to be constituted by a law, by passing an act in the legislature. The creation of the corporation is seen as a move by the BJP to woo the Maratha community that has considerable presence in the Basavakalyan assembly constituency also Belagavi Lok Sabha constituency, which is due for a bypoll. PTI