D(S) rally jams Bangalore
OVER FIVE HOURS OF FRUSTRATION AND STRESS
CHILDREN, PASSENGERS & PATIENTS ARE STRANDED
TIMES NEWS NETWORK
North Bangalore came to a grinding halt on Monday. The Janata Dal (S) was to blame for the agony people had to endure for hours on end.
The party’s show of strength triggered off massive traffic jams in near Palace Grounds on Bellary Road. Commuters were stranded worrying about missing flights, officials about missing deadlines and schoolchildren about getting home even as their parents cursed politicians and their insensitivity.
Kayakalpa Samavesha — the JD(S) rally held to strengthen the party after H D Kumaraswamy took over as the party chief — in Palace Grounds also affected bus services, both in the city and on its fringes. The road beside Gayathri Vihar in Palace Grounds, that leads to the Bengaluru International Airport (BIA) in Devanahalli was choked, even as thousands of vehicles tried to enter the venue. Vehicles that started to crawl on this stretch by afternoon were soon locked in a jam.
The vehicles were stranded for six hours and more, some desperate to reach the Bengaluru International airport and the city railway station. There was no respite for commuters as late as 8 pm.
The rally was scheduled to start around 12.30 pm but party supporters started thronging the venue from early morning itself, triggering the jam. Commuters from North Bangalore areas including R T Nagar, Ganganagar, Sanjaynagar, M S Ramaiah Layout, RMV Extension, Sadashivanagar, Hebbal and Yelahanka were stuck for long hours.
The Times of India received a flurry of calls from enraged parents of schoolchildren trapped in the gridlock. Many students returning home from college chose to walk home, rather than get stuck in crawling buses.
Kumaraswamy’s show of strength may be forgotten as time goes by; it’s another matter if he’ll be forgiven for the inconvenience he caused this manic Monday.
One political party’s “show of strength” paralysed traffic in many areas of North Bangalore on Monday, frustrating thousands, among whom were schoolchildren, office-goers, tourists and patients in ambulances. This isn’t the first time that Bangaloreans, already harried by chock-a-block traffic, have faced such a nightmare. Precisely why, way back in July 2005, the Karnataka High Court had directed the government to provide land outside the city for holding rallies and protests.
Processions, it had ruled, should not pass through main thoroughfares. But who listens to the woes of commuters? Who stands accountable for the anxiety of parents waiting for their children or patients held up? An apology by the political party will not do. It should declare openly that this will be its last rally in the city. Other parties must follow suit. The message is urgent, loud and clear: spare the citizen this hardship.
HDK rises, dad walks into the shadow Party Workers Identify Themselves With ‘Team Kumara’, The New Face
Bangalore: To pave the way for ‘Team Kumaranna’, JD(S) national chief H D Deve Gowda moved away from the centre stage on Monday for son and former chief minister H D Kumaraswamy to take charge as state JD(S) chief.
he party’s convention at Palace Grounds was also an eye-opener for Gowda, who realized that his time may be coming to an end as his popularity among party workers had waned.
An overwhelming number of workers cheered for Kumaraswamy, thronged to shake hands with him and present garlands. Seeing the frenzy, Gowda, who was sitting in the centre of the dais, slowly moved to the right end of the stage.
He seemed to show no regrets and looked happy with the change. Observers say his attitude is understandable because the heir to his legacy is none other than his son.
Pleased with the large number of people who came from across the state for the rally, he said: “People say I still have desire even at this age, even when my health is poor. Yes, I have a desire. It is that the party should survive even after me. Today, looking at the crowd, I am happy a
Former minister C Chennigappa was roughed up, allegedly by JD(S) volunteers, near the venue of the rally.
Chennigappa, who recently joined the BJP with his son D C Gowrishankar, faced the wrath of alleged JD(S) workers near Sadashivnagar when he was stuck in traffic. He was on his way to attend a programme in Palace Grounds when JD(S) men cornered him.
Witnesses said as soon as the mob spotted Chennigappa, they wanted to know why he’d quit JD(S). A quarrel ensued and the former minister was roughed up. His nose and lips were bruised. JD(S) and BJP leaders later visited him in hospital. Chennigappa has filed a complaint with the Sadashivanagar police station.
PALACE GROUNDS BYTES
Even the best efforts by the organizers were insufficient to control thousands of party workers. The leaders also stood by them. When the police tried to use their ‘lathis’, MLA Zameer Ahmed Khan and former MLA Chandranna yelled at the cops: “Hey! Don’t touch our workers. Stay away from them. They know how to behave.”
A man in woman’s attire with a paddy stack on his head drew everybody’s attention — a woman carrying the same on her head is the party’s symbol. Another person dressed up as Mahatma Gandhi also featured. The person holding the paddy stack stood from start to finish.
The convention venue was adorned with posters drawing parallel between new JD(S) state chief H D Kumaraswamy and Lord Kumaraswamy. It read: Kumaraswamy — Deva senadhipati embudu purana (Lord Kumaraswamy was the commander-in-chief of Gods is mythology); Kumaraswamy — JD(S) senadhipati embudu varthamana (Kumaraswamy is the commander-in-chief of JD(S) is present).
Coronation not held on the outskirts due to ‘luck’
JD(S) supremo H D Deve Gowda and his son, former chief minister H D Kumaraswamy, are sorry that Bangaloreans were stranded for hours in traffic jams as a result of the latter’s ‘coronation’ rally.
But Kumaraswamy didn’t appear to be sorry for holding the rally itself. He said he had issued advertisements in vernacular dailies on Sunday of a massive turnout expected for the function. On why he didn’t follow the Congress’ example of holding rallies on the city’s outskirts, he said the party had initially planned to hold it in Devanahalli.
But he admitted earlier that Palace Grounds was a lucky venue. Before the 1994 assembly elections, the Janata Parivar’s unification function was held here, after which the party came to power. TNN
“With such a turnout, traffic hold-ups are inevitable. I requested the public to bear the inconvenience, to avoid the route. I express my regrets.’’ — State JD(S) chief H D Kumaraswamy Even after 7 hours many could not reach airport Parents spend anxious moments waiting for children
THEN AND NOW: The JD(S) convention was inaugurated by blowing a trumpet (kahale), symbolizing the start of a battle. The artiste blew the instrument to perfection, but Gowda and Kumaraswamy couldn’t, even though they tried their level best!
HOW SHOULD THE GOVERNMENT ENSURE THAT ALL POLITICAL RALLIES ARE HELD OUTSIDE THE CITY?
‘Politicians should not hold public to ransom’ Most readers feel that all political parties should be more sensitive to the needs of the people and not put them to needless hardship
Traumatized kids return to school
TIMES NEWS NETWORK
Bangalore: November 17 is a day that will go down in school folklore, and live long in the memories of the children and parents. Thousands of traumatized kids, many as young as 4 and 5 years, reached home five to six hours after school closed.
In fact, many children who school in North Bangalore but live in the south, reached only by 10.30-11 pm.
On Tuesday, many children skipped school as they were too exhausted from Monday’s ordeal. Some others bunked as they had not done their homework and didn’t want to risk the wrath of teachers. Said Usha Shetty about her 7-year-old: “My child was too tired to do anything other than eat and sleep, and cried in the morning, not wanting to go to school as she had not done her homework.”
Nanditha Rao, a teacher who was stuck in a bus for five hours with 40-odd hungry, tired, worried children, said it was 8 pm when they disembarked. “I bought fruit to stave off their hunger. I disembarked with them en route as all traffic was blocked, and trekked through clogged roads in an unfamiliar locality plunged in darkness due to a power shutdown, along with two other parents, both ladies, who had managed to reach. We called parents to come over and ferry their children.
I waited till the last child was collected, and reached home at 9 pm. We are exhausted today.”
She suggested that a permanent rally ground be designated outside the city with all facilities; police permission taken well in advance; prior notification given to all establishments in surrounding areas so they may close or declare a halfholiday; public transport not be used without notification to the public.
Surprisingly, on Tuesday, children attended schools in good numbers. Schools said they did not see any visible drop in attendance. One student, who despite being stranded for nearly six hours attended school. Krusha Khakar of Vidya Niketan admitted she was tired but said she didn’t wanted to miss classes.
Vinit Shah, who had shared his experience with The Times of India on Monday, said he too attended school. The Class 9 student of Delhi Public School (North) said he was “fine and was not at all stressed”.
Renu Elizabeth Benny, principal, Kensri School of Academy of Excellence, said students of Class 8 and 9 were stuck in the jam on Monday. “The first batch, which left at 3 pm, managed to reach home soon. But the ones who had gone for the competition got unlucky. Finally, they reached home at 10 pm,” she said, adding that some children were not their usual self.
A Mallya Aditi official said some teachers waited till 10 pm on Monday in school, coordinating with teachers who were in buses along with students, and answering calls from parents. “Six school buses, which left at different timings, were stuck,” she said.
But there weren’t many absentees. “Little ones who were really tired didn’t turn up, otherwise most students came to school,” she added.
Even Delhi Public School (DPS) North didn’t see any visible drop as such. Sneha Preet Sial, principal, said both students and teachers were fine.