Dharwad: The Political leaders, pro-Kannada outfits and various other groups have called for a Hubballi-Dharwad bandh today, September 23 to protest chief minister Siddaramaiah’s letter to Union HRD minister Smriti Irani to set up the IIT in Raichur instead of Dharwad, which has been chosen by the Centre for the premier institution.
On Monday, members of political parties, the Dharwad Bar association and pro-Kannada groups and college students took out huge rallies to condemn the CM’s move.
BJP MLA Arvind Bellad said “After the completion of all the formalities for setting up the IIT in Dharwad, (the CM) sending a letter to reconsider the location of the IIT is nothing but a political game.”
Reports claim that Siddaramaiah’s move to shift the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) from Dharwad to Raichur was a politically motivated decision, with an eye on the ensuing by-election to the Deodurg assembly constituency in Raichur district. Sources also say senior and influential Congress leaders from Raichur like Mallikarjun Kharge lobbied the Chief Minister for the relocation of IIT.
In Bengaluru, higher education officials pointed out that a committee of experts constituted by the Centre chose Dharwad, after inspecting the infrastructure and facilities available in the three cities. “The decision will not be reversed by the committee. However, the decision can be reversed if the union minister accedes to Karnataka’s request,” an official said.
Meanwhile, two KSRTC buses were damaged by the agitators and the protesters have been vigilant that the city protests and observes a bandh.