Karnataka: BJP protests in front of Mahatma Gandhi statue accusing Congress govt. of ‘hoodwinking people’

Updated - February 07, 2024 09:02 pm IST

Published - February 07, 2024 08:58 pm IST - BENGALURU

Police stop Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly R. Ashok and BJP supporters during their protest against the State government at the Vidhana Soudha in Bengaluru on Wednesday.

Police stop Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly R. Ashok and BJP supporters during their protest against the State government at the Vidhana Soudha in Bengaluru on Wednesday. | Photo Credit: ANI

While the ruling Congress held a protest in New Delhi on Wednesday against the “injustice” meted out to the State by the Centre in devolution of funds, the Opposition BJP staged a counter-protest in Bengaluru against the government accusing it of trying to “hoodwink people of the State”.

The BJP leaders, including State president B.Y. Vijayendra, Leaders of the Opposition in both the Houses of the State legislature R. Ashok and Kota Srinivas Poojari, former Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai and party legislators, took part in the protest held in front of Mahatma Gandhi’s statue on the premises of the Vidhana Soudha. 

Addressing the protesters, Mr. Vijayendra termed the Congress government’s protest in Delhi against the Centre as a “drama” and maintained that people of the State would teach a lesson to them by sending them home in the next Assembly elections. 

He accused the Congress government of failing to properly handle the drought in the State. The State had failed to provide adequate allocation to UKP or take measures to take the proposed Mekedatu project forward, he said. It even diverted funds meant for the welfare of SC/ST communities to other works as it had emptied its financial reserves, Mr. Vijayendra said. 

To cover up for its failures, the Congress government was trying to show the Centre in poor light by staging a dharna in Delhi, he alleged. Mr. Vijayendra declared that the BJP would take up protests against the Congress government’s failures in all the districts in the coming days. 

Gates closed

Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Ashok alleged that farmers were not getting even two hours of three-phase power supply though the government claimed it was supplying three-phase power for seven hours a day. Similarly, industries were facing a tough time due to power supply issues, he said. 

There was some drama just before the dharna in front of the statue, as the authorities had locked all the gates of the Vidhana Soudha barring one. Taking serious exception to this, Mr. Vijayendra alleged that there was an “undeclared emergency” in the State under the Congress rule. Wondering if the legislators did not have the right to enter the Vidhana Soudha premises, he accused the Congress government of trying to oppress the BJP leaders and workers. 

“The Congress dispensation is developing cold feet as the Lok Sabha polls are nearing. They are tense when they hear Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s name and fall unconscious if any one chants Jai Sriram,” he remarked. 

The protesters were taken into custody by the police and later released.

Drama over laying siege

High drama prevailed as the Opposition BJP members tried to lay siege to the office of Chief Minister Siddaramaiah in the Vidhana Soudha and the Youth Congress workers reciprocated by trying to lay siege to the BJP State office in Malleswaram. Both attempts were foiled by the police. However, workers of both the parties indulged in slogan shouting as commotion broke out. 

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