BENGALURU: Over one lakh people, who took part in the ‘Freedom Walk’ organised by Congress to mark the 76th Independence Day on Monday, brought the city to its knees, causing major traffic snarls across the city. The rally kicked off at the Krantiveera Sangolli Rayanna Circle at Majestic in the afternoon in the presence of AICC General Secretary and Karnataka in-charge Randeep Singh Surjewala, KPCC president DK Shivakumar, leader of opposition Siddaramaiah and other leaders. The atmosphere at the Krantiveera Sangolli Rayanna Circle was electrifying with several troupes of folk artistes giving performances like Dollu Kunita, Veeragase and others.
Most top leaders of the party took part in the 7.5 km rally, encouraging people to walk with them. The rally went through the busiest roads and junctions in the city, like Seshadri Road, KR Circle, Nrupatunga Road, Corporation Circle, JC Road and Town Hall to reach the National College Grounds in Basavanagudi, where the rally culminated in the evening. Food packets and water bottles were distributed to the participants at the starting point and there were piles of at the scene later.
Congress, which was expecting around one lakh people, was overwhelmed as the number far exceeded their estimation. Congress workers from across the state, particularly from the neighbouring districts of Bengaluru and Old Mysuru, descended on the city. All the plans of organisers not to disturb the traffic went in vain as the number of participants was large. Congress sources said 1.07 lakh people had registered online for the event and roughly around 1.5 lakh people took part. The party had also booked 80,000 Metro tickets to facilitate free rides for the participants. Metro stations -- particularly Nagasandra, Kengeri and Silk Institute -- were full of Congress workers. Private buses were also arranged to drop off the workers at the starting point of the rally adding to the traffic mess.