Cauvery row: Farmers call for ‘bandh’ as protests continue; security upped in border districts

News Network
September 23, 2023

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Bengaluru, Sept 23: Farmers, along with pro-Kannada outfits continued to stage protests on Saturday in Karnataka's Mandya against the Cauvery Water Management Authority's (CWMA) order to release water to neighbouring state Tamil Nadu. They laid on the ground and raised slogans demanding justice, and also formed human chains.

Protests were spread across the southern state, with members of the Karnataka Rakshana Vedike staging demonstrations in Bengaluru and Udupi on Thursday and Friday, respectively. They also held protests in other Cauvery river basin districts including Mysuru, Chamarajanagar and Ramanagara, according to news agency PTI. Other districts such as Chitradurga, Ballari, Davanagere, Koppal and Vijayapura also saw protests, wherein individuals engaged in sloganeering, blocking roads, burning tyres and effigies.

Karnataka Rakshana Vedike activists, who were headed by Praveen Shetty, even blocked a highway in Bengaluru's K R Puram. Many including Shetty were then detained by police. Some Kannada organisations also blocked the TK Halli pumping station in Mandya, which supplies water to all of Bengaluru city. Cops deployed their personnel at the spot to pacify the crowd, the agency said.

The Raitha Hitarakshana Samiti in Mandya even called for a “bandh” in the district on Saturday. This gained support by various groups and is expected to affect daily life activities including vehicular movement and business today.

Over this, the state's Home Minister, G Parameshwara, said, "There is nothing wrong with it. It is their right to protest and the government has no objection to it. But public property should not be destroyed, they should not indulge in any illegal activity and cause inconvenience to people. I appeal to them in this regard."

The minister also said police are well prepared to handle the situation in case there are any untoward incidents, and that they have been deployed near the KRS dam in Mandya in heavy numbers.

Back in the state capital, the police department heightened security around Tamil dominated areas, with police commissioner B Dayananada saying that all necessary security measures and precautions are being taken. Officers are on high alert for incidents of stone pelting on any Tamil Nadu registered buses or private vehicles, he said.

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coastaldigest.com news network
June 18,2024

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Mangaluru, June 18: A much-needed move towards digitisation in the private bus sector in Dakshina Kannada district will likely be witnessed.

In an initiative spearheaded by the Dakshina Kannada Bus Owners’ Association (DKBOA), private buses will soon accept UPI payments from passengers, aiming to enhance convenience and efficiency of bus travel in the coastal region.

This is the second transport system after KSRTC to digitise ticketing system in Karnataka.

As part of an upgrade, private buses will also be equipped with GPS systems, allowing for real-time tracking and improved service management. The introduction of UPI payment options will enable passengers to purchase tickets online during their journey, streamlining the ticketing process.

Previously, private bus operators introduced the 'Chalo Cashless Cards', which has been well received by commuters for offering significant discounts.

In a media interaction, Association president Aziz Parthipady noted the success of 'Chalo Cards', which offer a 60 per cent fare discount to students and are distributed free of charge to those with valid identification.

'Chalo Cards' are prepaid bus travel cards available from designated offices throughout Mangaluru, making it easy for students to benefit from discounted fares.

According to the new update with the UPI option being introduced, the 'Chalo Cards' held by students would be continued as DKBOA Student Cards.

With this upgrade on the cards, the Dakshina Kannada District Bus Owners' Association is trying to improve the overall travel experience while ensuring the highest standards of passenger safety across all its operations. 

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Agencies
June 19,2024

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New Delhi: After the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led union government did not allow the Australian Deputy High Commissioner to meet three West Bengal ministers during his proposed visit to the state, the Trinamool Congress on Wednesday alleged 'federal and fiscal terrorism' on the state as people had defeated the BJP in the state.

Australian Deputy High Commissioner Nicholas McCaffrey was to visit Kolkata and Sunderbans between June 18 and 21. During this visit, he wanted to meet Commerce Minister Shashi Panja, Information Technology and Electronics Minister Babul Supriyo and Agriculture Minister Sovandeb Chattopadhyay.

However, Trinamool Congress said, the Oceania Division of the MEA wrote to the High Commission saying that they do "not recommend" meetings as requested by the Australian side with the ministers.

At the same time, the Oceania Division had "no objection from political angle" in the diplomat meeting BJP MPs Sukanta Majumdar and Dilip Ghosh and Trinamool Congress MPs Derek O'Brien and Jawahar Sircar.

Trinamool Congress sources said the Deputy High Commissioner had not come to Bengal as scheduled and their MPs would not have met him when the ministers were not allowed.

The Australian side had requested for meetings to discuss opportunities for collaboration against the backdrop of India-Australia trade discussions and explore areas of economic interest in West Bengal.

Government sources said that they have allowed the Australian diplomat to meet officials at appropriate level based on the principle of reciprocity. They said the Indian Deputy High Commissioner in Australia is not allowed to meet Australian ministers.

When contacted, an Australian High Commission spokesperson said, "Australia and India are close friends, with strong strategic, economic and community ties. Australian diplomats travel regularly across India to continue strengthening the political, business, cultural and sporting linkages between our two countries. We don’t comment on the specific details of programs when our officials travel."

Attempt to 'spite Bengal'

Setting stage for another round of confrontation, Trinamool Congress Rajya Sabha Deputy Leader Sagarika Ghose said the union government's action was 'completely autocratic' and an attempt to 'spite Bengal'. She said they would strongly raise this 'serious issue', which he described as 'fiscal terrorism', in Parliament after discussing it with I.N.D.I.A. allies.

Addressing a press conference here, Ghose and another MP Saket Gokhale claimed that the federal structure of the state is being destroyed.

"The representatives of the states who want to go abroad are being stopped and the way they are doing this in such a dirty, uncivilised manner is very shameful," Ghose said.

Gokhale described the development as "federal terrorism" while alleging that several diplomats have claimed that they were informally told by the union government that they could get clearance for investments only if they choose Gujarat. 

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News Network
June 12,2024

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Nara Chandrababu Naidu, Telugu Desam Party supremo, was sworn in as the chief minister of Andhra Pradesh for the fourth term on Wednesday, June 12. Andhra governor S Abdul Nazeer, former Telangana governor Tamilisai Soundarajan were present at the swearing-in.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union home minister Amit Shah, Union ministers JP Nadda and Bandi Sanjay Kumar, and several other leaders attended the oath-taking ceremony.

Chandrababu Naidu took oath around 11.27am near Gannavaram Airport in Kesarapalli on the outskirts of Vijayawada. Along with Chandrababu Naidu, Janasena chief Pawan Kalyan, the TDP supremo's son Nara Lokesh and 22 others also took the oath.

Pawan Kalyan reportedly has been offered the deputy chief minister's post. Janasena is being offered three cabinet berths and the Bharatiya Janata Paty one.

After taking oath as chief minister Naidu shared a hug with PM Narendra Modi on stage. This is the fourth time that Naidu is assuming charge as Andhra chief minister and the second time after the bi-furcation in 2014.

Chandrababu Naidu's son and TDP general secretary Nara Lokesh, Union minister Rammohan Naidu, actors Chiranjeevi, Rajnikanth, Nandamuri Balakrishna were also present on occasion.

Naidu had led the TDP- BJP-Janasena National Democratic Alliance to a landslide victory in the assembly as well as Parliamentary elections.

The TDP holds the majority in Andhra Pradesh's 175-member assembly with 135 MLAs, while its allies, the Janasena Party, have 21 and the BJP has eight. The opposition YSR Congress Party has 11 legislators.

The TDP MLAs who took oaths included Nara Lokesh, Kinjarapu Atchannaidu, Nimmala Ramanaidu, NMD Farooq, Anam Ramanarayana Reddy, Payyavula Kesav, Kollu Ravindra, Ponguru Narayana, Vangalapudi Anita, Anagani Satya Prasad, Kolusu Parthasaradhi, Kola Balaveeranjaneya Swamy, Gottipati Ravi, Gummadi Sandhyarani, BC Janardhan Reddy, TG Bharath, S Savitha, Vasamsetty Subhash, Kondapalli Srinivas and Mandipalli Ramprasad Reddy.

In the 175-member Andhra Pradesh assembly, the cabinet can have 26 ministers, including the chief minister.

The Telugu Desam Legislature Party and NDA partners elected Naidu as their leader in separate meetings on Tuesday, June 11.

Addressing the legislators, Naidu asserted that he is committed to developing Amaravati as the state's sole capital.

"With all your cooperation, I am swearing in tomorrow (as the CM) and I would like to thank you all for that. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is coming for the swearing-in ceremony,” Naidu said, adding he had sought cooperation from the Union government for Andhra Pradesh's development and it was "assured".

South superstars Rajinikanth, Chiranjeevi, and actor-politician Nandamuri Balakrishna also attended the event at Gannavaram Mandal, Kesarapalli IT Park.

Naidu first became the chief minister in 1995 and went on to have another two terms.

His first two terms as chief minister were at the helm of united Andhra Pradesh, beginning in 1995 and ending in 2004, while the third term came post-bifurcation of the state.

In 2014, Naidu emerged as the first chief minister of bifurcated Andhra Pradesh and served it until 2019. He lost the 2019 polls and was the opposition leader until 2024.

Following a landslide victory in the 2024 elections, he is returning as the CM for a fourth term, ousting the YSRCP.

The NDA won a landslide victory in the recently concluded simultaneous Lok Sabha and assembly elections in the state, winning 164 of the 175 assembly seats and 21 of the 25 Lok Sabha seats. 

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