BENGALURU: Police foiled BJP’s attempts to take out the ‘Mangaluru Chalo’ bike rally defying prohibitory orders on Tuesday. Many senior leaders, including former Deputy CM R Ashok, party MP Shobha Karandlaje and BJP state Yuva Morcha president and MP Pratap Simha and hundreds of party workers were taken into custody as they tried to set out on the rally from Freedom Park.
BJP leaders and workers were detained in other parts of the state too including Hubballi, Dharwad, Kolar, Belagavi, Karwar, Ballari and Nelamangala. While Home Minister Ramalinga Reddy said about 800 BJP workers were detained all over the state, BJP put the number at over 4,500 and the number of bikes stopped as over 2,500, including 400 bikes and 500 workers in Bengaluru.
Hundreds of BJP workers on their bikes converged at the Freedom Park where the rally was to be launched under Ashok’s leadership. High drama unfolded as Ashok pushed the police cordon and started his bike. Inspired by their leader, hundreds of party workers too tried to force their way ahead. Police had to forcibly remove Ashok from his bike that led to heated arguments. Ashok, Pratap Simha, Shobha, Somanna and other leaders strongly resisted the police who tried to take them into custody. Ashok even staged a dhana by squatting on the road.Police resorted to mild caning when BJP workers tried to push back police personnel who tried to arrest the leaders.
BSY REMAINS AT HOME
Even as BJP leaders and workers hit the road, BJP State president B S Yeddyurappa stayed back at his Dollars Colony residence. Yeddyurappa who monitored the rally and the ensuing clashes with the police said he would go to Mangaluru directly on September 7 to address the proposed rally demanding the resignation of Forest minister Ramanath Rai, ban on PFI and KFD and NIA probe into the killings of RSS and BJP workers in coastal region.