The 75th birthday celebrations of Leader of Opposition Siddaramaiah in Davanagere has caused huge traffic jams within the city and also on the Pune-Bengaluru national highway with vehicles lining up for kilometres.
Apart from the 1,500 buses hired for the event by the organising committee, thousands of vehicles including cars, SUVs, MUVs, mini buses from across the state have reached the city from different directions leading to traffic chaos.
Consequently, vehicles have lined up on the national highway and the police personnel are having a difficult time ensuring vehicular movement within the city.
One of the traffic officials told this correspondent that the traffic jam had started as early as 6 a.m. as more and more vehicles began arriving from different routes to the venue.
Man dies in road accident
Following the death in a road accident of Prakash Badiger from Mudhol taluk, who was travelling to Davanagere to attend the birthday celebrations, Siddaramaiah took to Twitter to request people to drive carefully.
Although around 200 acres have been earmarked for the parking, it seems inadequate considering the huge number of vehicles moving towards the venue. Meanwhile, people on two wheelers from nearby villages and towns, too, have added to the gridlock.
Former AICC President Rahul Gandhi is scheduled to address the gathering at 1 pm.
Massive crowd to attend
Expecting a huge crowd of around six lakh, arrangements have been made accordingly at Shamanur Palace Ground off the Pune-Bengaluru National Highway in Davangere.
As per the information provided by the organisers, seating arrangements for around 3.5 lakh people have been made. In all 33 LED screens have also been installed in the main pandal.
As the day wore on, and more people congregated at the venue, most driving down in their vehicles, the crowd swelled to over 10 lakh people, surpassing the anticipated number of around 6 lakh, worsening the traffic gridlock and forcing people to walk to the venue.
The former chief minister rang in his birthday at midnight on August 2 by cutting a cake in the presence of senior party leaders at a private hotel in Hubballi.
KPCC president D K Shivakumar, Karnataka Legislative Council leader B K Hariprasad, former ministers R V Deshpande, K J George were part of the celebrations and wished him well.