Man dies as people jostle for space to have better view of proceedings
All roads leading to Kanteerava Stadium here were choc-o-bloc with traffic on Monday when Siddaramaiah was sworn in Chief Minister.
Even as the Police Department deployed 3,000 personnel apart from KSRP and CAR units, the traffic police had a tough time in controlling the surging traffic during the day. Kasturba Road, Residency Road and the surrounding areas were full of vehicles until noon, leading to inconvenience to commuters. The situation only deteriorated when people started coming out of the stadium after the ceremony.
One of the motorists who was caught in the traffic jam near Corporation Circle while the ceremony was under way, said: “I was travelling towards Wilson Garden from K.R. Market and due to the pile-up of traffic, I had to take a round-about route which took me much longer than usual to reach my destination. I later got to know that vehicular movement from the circle toward Residency Road had been stopped.” Many commuters were caught in traffic jams on M.G. Road, Hudson Circle, Corporation Circle, Bangalore-Mysore Road and the surrounding areas. While motorists complained of delay in travel time, other citizens had their own share of problems. Then, the police stopped vehicular movement on Kasturba Road to regulate the situation and avoid further inconvenience to commuters.
Although the police had made arrangements for entry and exit for VIPs and mediapersons, there was chaos at all the entry/exit points of the stadium.
One person died following a stampede even as people jostled for space so that they could get a better view of the ceremony.
The police had put up barricades at every step obstructing the entry of people, including those with VIP passes.
Many MLAs, former Ministers and other dignitaries such as Mayor D. Venkatesh Murthy found it difficult to enter the stadium.
Arrangements for parking had been made from Hudson Circle to Central Library in Cubbon Park. However, some of the motorists were not allowed to park around the Central Library premises after 11 a.m., though there was sufficient parking space.
Thousands of supporters could be seen waving flags and banners and shouting slogans as they gathered around the stadium.
Apart from political outfits, there were others from the Kuruba community and economically backward sections of society. Kotegundi Mahadev, who arrived here from Mysore, said that they would call on the Dalit community as well to support Mr. Siddaramaiah. “We have to stand united for the progress of the State,” he added.
Dharma Sena, who led a group of supporters from Mysore, said, “He (Siddaramaiah) is a public leader. No one has got so much love and affection like he has got. He is from a poor background and he knows the needs of the poor. We are absolutely sure he will emerge as the best Chief Minister Karnataka has ever seen.”