The party leaders have decided to stay away from the celebrations citing drought in many hoblis

CHAMARAJANAGAR: “Grameena Dasara” began in Gundlupet town of Chamarajanagar district on Tuesday amid protest by Congress workers.

Congress MLAs of Chamarajanagar and the party MP have decided to stay away from the celebrations citing drought in many hoblis of the district.

The State Government has released Rs. 12 lakh to the district for organising “Grameena Dasara” celebrations in all taluk centres.

Before the event was inaugurated on Tuesday, Congress workers led by the former Gundlupet Town Municipal Council president Suresh, zilla panchayat president Mahadev Shetty and the former taluk panchayat president Jayanthi raised slogans opposing “Grameena Dasara”. They termed the event as a “BJP Government Dasara” and said that all tableaux had pictures of Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa and district in-charge Minister H. Halappa. Instead of spending on such celebrations, the Government should have utilised the amount for development projects in the district, they said.

Bharatiya Janata Party workers present at the venue defended the Government’s decision to organise “Grameena Dasara”. This led to heated exchange of words between workers of the two parties and there was commotion at the venue. Police personnel intervened and brought the situation under control.

Later, town municipal council president Manjula inaugurated the event by performing puja to “Nandi kambha”. This was followed by a procession in which tableaux of various government departments were taken out. Various folk artistes performed on the occasion.