Former chief minister BS Yeddyurappa on Thursday took the first car out to Mysore to catch what he had lost in the past two years - being with the farmers.
Just hours after the Supreme Court directed the Karnataka government to release 2.4 TMC water to Tamil Nadu, Yeddyurappa whipped up a moderately-populated ‘Padayatra group’ that will take a seven-day march from Mysore to Bangalore, covering the richest agricultural belt in the state. His political adversaries in BJP, Congress and JD(S), however, scoffed at it as a "political gimmick".
But the former chief minister was astute in his brief to the press before launching the padayatra from Kote Anjaneya temple in front of the historic Amba Vilas Palace here. “I have taken the oath to the chief minister’s post in the name of the farmer wearing a green shawl on my shoulder. I know what it means to have less water in a region that was referred to as ‘rice bowl of Karnataka’.
The BJP government in the last one year had played with the sentiments of the people of the state and more so with that of the farmers, which was not only politically in -adept but also serious lack of concern,”he said.
Reiterating the need to have a National River Water Policy, Yeddyurappa said: “The country needs a strong river water policy uniform to all states. The Centre should not let the states fight over water for irrigation and domestic use, in my view struggle for water is uncivilised.”
He asked the chief minister and his colleagues in the government to immediately take some time off from the legislative assembly session and take a delegation to the central government and also meet the prime minister along with the MPs from Karnataka. “I understand the KRS has just 7 TMC of water out of which 4 TMC was dead storage and just 3 TMC was available for use which will not last till May,” he said.
BSY began the Padayatra with 500 persons belonging to his party and people from his close circles. The launch of Padayatra got some star colour when Kannada film artiste Shruti chose this occasion to the KJP. Yeddyurappa’s close confidantes Shobha Karandlaje and former chairperson of State Women’s Commission C Manjula also participated in the padayatra.