Farmers head to Nargund, Navalgund

The demand for an early solution to the Mahadayi dispute was raised again during the ‘Farmers Martyrs’ Day’ at Nargund in Gadag district and Navalgund in Dharwad district on Saturday.

Hundreds of farmers, members of various organisations and scores of students took part in the programme and paid tributes to the farmers who lost their lives during the farmers’ rebellion in 1980 and also raised the demand for the rightful share of the farmers in the Mahadayi basin.

Farmers, leaders, students took turns to pay floral tributes to the farmers’ memorial in Nargund and Navalgund towns and then they took part in the programme, which was observed as ‘Black Day’ by farmers of Malaprabha Command Area protesting against the inordinate delay in resolving the issue.

Kodihalli Chandrashekhar and Darshan Puttannaiah of the Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha, the Nargund MLA, C.C. Patil, Basava Jaya Mrutyunjaya Swami of Panchamasali Peetha, Viresh Sobaradmath of the Raitha Sena, Shankar Ambali and others paid floral tributes.

The event also highlighted the differences between the farmers’ leaders Viresh Sobardmath and Shankar Amballi, who in fact had begun the indefinite agitation jointly three years ago. Both had organised separate programmes to mark the day.

Mr. Chandrashekhar said a favourable judgement was expected from the Mahadayi Water Disputes Tribunal and in case it went against the interests of Karnataka, then next course of agitation would be chalked out.

Sri Basava Jaya Mrutyunjay Swami expressed displeasure over the apathy of the State and Union governments in resolving the pending issue. He too expressed hope that the verdict would be in favour of the farmers.

“But in case it goes against the interests of the farmers of Karnataka, then the fight would be intensified”, he said. Meanwhile, schools and colleges in Nargund remained closed on account of the programme and most of the shops and commercial establishments remained shut.

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