Congress functionaries at Birunani in Virajpet taluk of Kodagu on Thursday clarified that they did not have any role in the skirmishes that took place during the conduct of the Virajpet taluk Kodava cultural convention at Birunani on February 7.
Certain members of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had taken objection to the Karnataka Kodava Sahitya Academy which had organised the convention at Birunani for inviting a particular person, who was known as an environmentalist in the district.
The Congress members had only tried to solve the confusion when the BJP members took to the dais forcibly, Lala Appanna, president of the Birunani zone of the Congress, told presspersons here. Again, the Congress workers had attempted to stop attacks by BJP men on Poonacha, a Congress supporter, at the bus stand, Mr. Appanna said. The police had registered cases against seven Congress workers based on complaints by the BJP and 10 BJP members were booked following complaints by the Congress, he said. Kodava convention was held in Birunani after a gap of 40 years and the Congress workers had ensured its success.
B.S. Thammaiah, Kodagu District Congress Committee member, blamed the president of the Karnataka Kodava Sahitya Academy, Rani Machaiah, for the lapses. She should have arranged for police security since the convention was to have been attended by Speaker K.G. Bopaiah (he, however, did not attend). Nor Ms. Machaiah had lodged a police complaint after the incidents, he alleged
A.M. Chinnappa, member of the Birunani Gram Panchayat and Kartamada Nanda, a resident of the village, spoke.