BENGALURU: Terming BJP’s ‘Mangaluru Chalo’ bike rally as communally-oriented and divisive, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Tuesday, challenged the saffron party to launch a ‘Delhi Chalo’ agitation demanding waiver of farm loans availed through nationalised banks. The CM added that he would also join the agitation the opposition party decides to launch one.
Defending the state government’s decision to stop the bike rally, Siddaramaiah said, instead of ‘Mangaluru Chalo’ bike rally that could disturb social harmony, “BJP would do well to launch ‘Delhi Chalo’ rally to demand the union government to waive farm loans disbursed through nationalised banks. I too will join them. We have waived farm loans to upto `50,000 crore availed by farmers through co-operative banks.
The farmers are still burdened, as `42,000 crore was disbursed as farm loan by nationalised banks,” he said.“Why is the BJP adamant on holding rallies that will inconvenience people and disturb social harmony?” the CM asked.Siddaramaiah clarified that he was not opposed to BJP holding public rallies or padayatra, but would not accept plans for a bike rally. People would be put to inconvenience as the rally would mean thousands of bikes hitting the road from 4 to 5 places simultaneously causing traffic pileups, he said.
“Thousands of youth hitting the roads on their bikes with party flags, shouting slogans, will it not affect law and order? Will it not cause inconvenience for the public? Do we need agitations that will disturb social harmony?,” he said. He also dismissed the view that the rally is pro-Hindu and said, “the rally is being taken out to disturb communal harmony.”
‘Will allow rally if BJP assures peace’
Home Minister Ramalinga Reddy has expressed his readiness to allow the BJP rally in Mangaluru if the party submits a written undertaking to ensure it ends on a peaceful note. Blaming BJP leaders for the confrontation over the ‘Mangaluru Chalo’ bike rally, Reddy said, “Police would have allowed even the bike rally if BJP had followed proper procedure and submitted the required details and documents.” Reddy reiterated the state government’s tough stand to foil any activity that could affect social harmony.
BJP workers, cops injured
Many workers were injured including BJP Yuva Morcha State Secretary Arvind Shetty, whose jaw was fractured. A police constable too has been injured in the scuffle. Police had a tough time detaining Shobha as the latter put up a strong resistance. “I have been roughed up. I have suffered bruises on my hands,” she said questioning the need for use of force as the rally was meant to be peaceful.
PIL against BJP’s bike rally
Some residents from Mangaluru moved the High Court against BJP’s bike rally, saying it would harm peace and tranquillity in the coastal city. Citing urgency, the counsel of the petitioners mentioned the PIL filed by the residents before a division bench of for early hearing on Tuesday. It will be taken up for hearing on Wednesday.