Students protest, Karnataka bandh on Saturday

Bengaluru: Angry that the state government has gone back on its promise of issuing free bus passes to students across the state, lakhs of students are expected to take part in a state-wide bandh on Saturday, July 21.

The bandh call has been given by the All-India Democratic Students Organisation (AIDSO), All-India Mahila Sanskritik Sanghatan (AIMSS) and All-India Democratic Youth Organisation (AIDYO).

AIDSO state president Pramod N. said on Monday that students have been forced to protest as they have been betrayed several times by ministers of the new government since they took over from the previous Siddaramiah government.

He said that Transport Minister D.C. Thammana had promised student protesters even on the eve of the budget on July  12 that free bus pass scheme would be officially announced by CM H.D. Kumaraswamy in the budget. “We were hopeful of the announcement as it would have benefitted over 19 lakh school and college students. But despite several attempts and protests, it was excluded from the budget, which is unfair,” he said.

He contested the government’s claim that the free bus scheme would cost the exchequer Rs 630 crore, saying it is unscientific and baseless. On Saturday, students will boycott classes and hold different kinds of protests and demonstrations, he said.

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