Holds function on main road, blocks traffic and angers public

The Opposition Congress, which has been criticising the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government for not doing much to clear the city’s traffic-choked roads, contributed significantly to Bangalore’s notorious traffic jams on Sunday by putting up a stage on the main road at Banashankari II Stage, much to the annoyance of commuters, traders, residents and the public.

The stage was put up on 30 Main Road, Banashankari II Stage (opposite the Sri Hari Kalyana Mantap), to hold a “Congressnondige banni, Badalavane thanni” programme. The traffic police had a tough time controlling the swelling crowd on the road during the three-hour programme.

Under pressure

The police said that Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee Secretary B. Gurappa Naidu badgered them early morning and erected the stage by violating rules. Residents nearby said that the programme put paid to any hope of some peace and quiet on Sunday. Alarmed by the crowd and abandoning any hope of conducting business, a few traders closed their shops. “We cannot take a risk when there is a huge crowd in front of our shops,” a trader on the 15 Cross said.

Furious guests

Wedding guests headed to the nearby Sri Hari Kalyan Mantap too vented their anger against the Congress leaders for holding the programme on the main road. “The Congress will lose votes if they hold functions causing traffic jam,” a man said. But Mr. Gurappa Naidu criticised the government and blamed the police for the traffic problem. “The police did not allow us to block the road totally. We paid the fee but they did not divert the traffic to enable us to erect the stage properly,” he said. Speaking to The Hindu, KPCC spokesperson B.K. Chandrashekar, who was on the stage, said: “I am unaware of the traffic problem. But it should have been avoided by organising the programme in a better way.”

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