The Vishwa Kannada Sammelan Film Festival took off on an ugly note here on Wednesday thanks to what appeared to be rude behaviour by Agriculture Minister and district in-charge Umesh V. Katti with Suresh C. Angadi, MP, who is senior to Mr. Katti in the Bharatiya Janata Party.
Mr. Katti is said to have used “abusive and threatening” language in connection with the demolition of “khoka” shops/kiosks in the presence of Superintendent of Police Sandeep Patil, MLA Abhay Kumar Patil and chairman of the sammelan publicity committee M.B. Jirali (BJP).
It all started when Mr. Angadi, Mr. Katti and others came out of Chandana cinema after the inauguration of the film festival. Mr. Angadi used the occasion to plead with Mr. Katti to be sympathetic with poor vendors who had lost their earnings following the demolition of the roadside “khokas”. But, Mr. Katti said that the city had to be cleaned and encroachments had to be removed to prevent others following suit.
Mr. Angadi further said that the “khoka” owners had come to him in the morning with a request for early rehabilitation and also ensuring an end to further demolitions. When he urged Mr. Katti to take a sympathetic view as the vendors were poor and it was a question of their survival unlike a rich person like him (Mr. Katti), Mr. Katti lost his temper and made an aggressive move taking everybody present by surprise.
Some of the members present pulled him back to prevent what would have turned into an ugly scene. In the afternoon, both Mr. Katti and Mr. Angadi surprised everybody by coming together for the inauguration of an exhibition at RPD Ground. Kannada and Culture Minister Govind M. Karjol inaugurated the exhibition.