BENGALURU: The Karnataka bandh call given by pro-Kannada organisations on Thursday is likely to hit transport services in the state, especially in Bengaluru. Several cab and auto drivers unions have announced their support to the bandh.
President of Ola, Uber Drivers’ and Owners’ Association, Bengaluru Tanveer Pasha told ET that Ola and Uber drivers have decided to back the protest. “We agree with the demands of the Kannada organisations, hence we have decided to support,” he said.
Even the two major auto rickshaw unions in the city — Peace and Adarsh — too have supported the bandh. There are about one lakh Ola, Uber and auto rickshaws attached to these unions in the city.
With the unions and employees of Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation, Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation and Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd, not yet announcing their stand, buses and the metro may operate as usual. Education Minister S Suresh Kumar has said that schools will remain open.
The fringe group Karnataka Sanghatanegala Okkuta has given the bandh call from 6 am to 6 pm on Thursday, demanding the State government to implement decades-old recommendations of Sarojini Mahishi on job reservation for Kannadigas in both the government and the private sectors. Okkuta President HB Nagesh has said that they are hoping for a shutdown across the state. “We will not withdraw the protest until the government assures us of meeting our demands,” he said. The protesters will stage a rally from Town Hall to the Freedom Park in Bengaluru.
However, several prominent pro-Kannada organisations and activists including Vatal Nagaraj and Praveen Kumar Shetty (Karnataka Rakshana Vedike) have not supported the proposed bandh.
Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa, on Wednesday, requested the forum leaders to drop the decision. “I am ready to meet the protesters and hold a dialogue. I will see to what extent the government can meet their demands. There is no necessity to cause inconvenience to people by shutting down the state,” he said.