Pro-Kannada groups call off shutdown, criticise Rajnikant

April 5th, 2008 - 11:05 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Manmohan Singh

Bangalore, April 5 (IANS) Pro-Kannada groups Saturday called off their proposed Karnataka shutdown April 10 to protest Tamil Nadu’s water supply project near the interstate border but criticised film star Rajnikant for supporting the project. “The shutdown has been called off but we will not allow screening of any of Rajnikant’s films as he has made derogatory remarks against Kannadigas in spite of their love and affection for him,” a spokesperson of the Karnataka Rakshna Vedike (KRV) said.

Rajnikant was born in Maharashtra, grew up in Karnataka and worked as conductor in the state-run Bangalore city transport service, before going on to become a superstar in Tamil films.

“He is not only supporting a project that is detrimental to Karnataka, where he grew up, but has said Kannadigas opposing the project deserve a kick. Hence we will not allow his films, old or new, to be screened until he apologises,” former legislator and leader of Kannada Chaluvali Paksha Vatal Nagaraj said.

However, KRV Bangalore district unit secretary D.P. Anjanappa said the April 10 shutdown plan as well as other forms of agitation had been given up following Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi’s announcement earlier Saturday of putting on hold the project at the Hogenakkal waterfall till an elected government is installed in Karnataka.

Karnataka is under the president’s rule and polls to the state assembly are scheduled May 10, 16 and 22. Counting is May 25 and an elected government should be in place by the end of May.

Anjanappa said his group would block not only Rajnikant’s films but also films of all actors who took part in a daylong fast in Chennai Friday in support of the project.

The KRV also plans to take a delegation of Kannada groups, writers, Dalit and farmer representatives to meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in New Delhi later this month.

“We will decide the date next week but we are planning it for April 20,” Anjanappa said.

Meanwhile, Congress election management committee chairman S.M. Krishna thanked Karunanidhi for putting the project on hold till a popular government was formed in the state.

“We appreciate the gesture of Karunanidhi to put on hold the Hogenakkal project. I called on him to inform that the two states can discuss the issue after a popular government is formed in Karnataka. He responded positively,” Krishna told reporters here.

Regretting that the project had caused restlessness in the state, Krishna said he had sought the intervention of Congress president Sonia Gandhi and the prime minister to defuse the situation by restraining Tamil Nadu from going ahead with the project till the election process was completed.

“I told both leaders that all projects with inter-state implications should be put on hold till the election was held and sought their intervention in the Hogenakkal project,” Krishna said.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Posted in Politics |