KARNATAKA

Rally: Poojary apologises to people

Bangalore Aug. 10. For a change, the chief organiser of a procession or show of strength in public has expressed his regret for the disruption of the even tenor of life.

The KPCC President, B.Janardhana Poojary, has apologised to the people who were inconvenienced on account of the "Kranti Jyothi Yatra" taken out by the party here on Saturday to commemorate the 61st anniversary of the Quit India call of Mahatma Gandhi. However, he has defended the decision to organise the rally.

Mr. Poojary, in a statement, said that it was natural for traffic to get disrupted when a big procession was being taken out. He pointed out that during occasions such as Republic Day, Mysore Dasara, Bangalore Karaga, and religious festivals and fairs, there would be similar disruption of traffic.

The State Congress chief noted that the procession was in remembrance of those who sacrificed their lives or career fighting the British in 1942. It was their sacrifices that brought freedom to the nation. Even agitations connected with the freedom movement such as Quit India had caused inconvenience to some sections of the people. The yatra was to remind the present generation about the selfless people who took part in Quit India and the other phases of the freedom movement. Mr. Poojary also said that today there was a threat to the independence and integrity of the country from communal and extremist forces. It was the duty of everyone to safeguard the nation's independence and integrity. Processions of the kind taken out by the Congress were needed to educate the people about the duty cast on them.

The procession, which was taken out from the Lalbagh West Gate, reached Vidhana Soudha through the Town Hall causing traffic jams on the roads leading to its route. Though it was a second Saturday, and State and Union government offices were closed, private firms and business establishments were open. The latter employ a greater number of people than the government and also attract larger number of people than government offices. No doubt, the disruption in life would have been much more had the Quit India anniversary fallen on a day on which government offices and courts functioned. It may be mentioned that the Congress yatra had been organised on a directive from the AICC. However, the scale of the event was determined by the State leadership which wanted it to be a massive one.

As Mr. Poojary has been frequently exhorting partymen to be ready to face the elections, the yatra came to be interpreted as the unofficial launch of the Congress campaign. Congress members from Bangalore and the districts in its neighbourhood participated in the yatra in large numbers.

Funds for organising the yatra were raised, among others, through collection of one month's salary of ministers, Congress legislators, chairmen and directors of boards and corporations, party councillors of the Bangalore Mahanagara Palike, members of the zilla panchayats, and other elected representatives. Such contributions were more than adequate to meet the expenses incurred on the yatra, party sources said.