Thousands of farmers, led by the Congress, on Thursday staged a massive demonstration at Bagepalli in Kolar district in support of the Chitravathi project, which is being stridently opposed by Andhra Pradesh.
The farmers demanded that despite opposition from Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka should go ahead with the project, coming up across the Chitravathi river, to provide drinking water to 100 villages and two towns in Kolar district.
Shouting slogans against Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu, the farmers, who came in trucks, tempos and lorries from different parts of the district, marched through the streets and held a rally amid tight police security.
The Minister for Mines and District-in-charge Minister, V Muniyappa inaugurated the rally, which was also addressed by local leaders and Congress MP K H Muniyappa, who said a delegation of MPs would be taken to Delhi to make out Karnataka's case before the Centre.
The TDP of Ananthpur district has also announced that it would hold a protest tomorrow against the Chitravathi project.
Andhra Pradesh has accused Karnataka of illegally constructing the project and impinging upon its rights. Andhra Pradesh MPs had also met President A P J Abdul Kalam and Prime Minister A B Vajpayee last week, seeking their intervention against the project.
Dismissing Andhra Pradesh's charge, Karnataka has said it would go ahead with the project, which it has justified,saying it was only to meet the drinking water needs and not for irrigation purposes.