Maratha corporation: Kannada Okkoota firm on call for bandh

Sets Nov. 30 deadline for govt. to withdraw its decision

Kannada Okkoota, an umbrella organisation for Kannada organisations, on Friday set November 30 as the deadline for Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa to scrap the recently set up Maratha Development Corporation. The okkoota resolved to go ahead with its call for a Karnataka bandh on December 5 if the demand is not met. Members of the Karnataka Rakshana Vedike, a big force in the okkoota, were conspicuous by their absence in a meeting held on Friday.

Chief Minister recently appealed to Kannada organisations “not to do a bandh” and also warned them that the government would take stringent action against those who go ahead with a “bandh by force”. He had clarified that the corporation pertained to the “Maratha community, who were also Kannadigas, and not Marathi speakers”. This, however, does not seem to have cut the ice with Kannada organisations.

‘CM is anti-Kannada’

Vatal Nagaraj, president of the okkoota, dubbed the Chief Minister “anti-Kannada” and demanded his resignation.

“We give the State government time till November 30 and if they fail to scrap the Maratha Development Corporation by then, we will lay siege to the Chief Minister’s residence on December 1 and make the December 5 Karnataka bandh successful. There is no backtracking on this and we are not afraid of the threats by the Chief Minister,” he said. The okkoota decided to take up a mass contact programme among people and various trade organisations in the coming weeks to whip up support for the cause.


Sources in the vedike said they were undecided for now on supporting the bandh call and a final decision would be taken next week.

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Sagar Biswas

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