Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee president R.V. Deshpande and working president D.K. Shivakumar have expressed displeasure over the police clamping prohibitory orders around the Vidhana Soudha, obliquely threatening Congressmen with arrest if they lay siege to the secretariat building as planned on Saturday.

Speaking to presspersons here on Friday, they said that Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa, who led various agitation programmes when he was in the Opposition, had now become intolerant of criticism and was using the police to suppress the democratic right of the people.

Mr. Deshpande said Congress leaders planned to assemble near the Vidhana Soudha and protest in a peaceful manner, in accordance with Gandhian principles. However, the State Government was not ready to tolerate even this. It had made elaborate arrangements to scuttle the Congress programme to highlight the mistakes of the Bharatiya Janata Party government and its inefficient administration.

The KPCC president said Ministers had not visited drought and flood affected districts to disburse compensation and oversee the setting up of gruel centres and fodder banks, provision of drinking water and rejuvenating the administration.

Mr. Shivakumar said the Government had failed to improve the power supply situation, which was affecting industries, students and farmers. It had also failed to supply ration cards to around 40 lakh families living below the poverty line, which it had listed.

He, however, welcomed the Food and Civil Supplies Minister H. Halappa’s move to extend BPL cards to garment workers. Mr. Shivakumar urged the Minister to issue permanent cards to all those who had been given temporary cards.

Both the leaders said the Congress would go ahead with their agitation on Saturday and intensify their protest on October 2 in Bangalore and in all district headquarters.

Earlier Mr. Deshpande inaugurated a training camp for Youth Congress workers who will implement the ‘aam aadmi ka sepoy’ movement. Mr. Shivakumar and Karnataka Pradesh Youth Congress Committee President Krishna Byregowda were present at the function.