HDK pulls up top cop for letting Mamata walk to his swearing-in

HDK pulls up top cop for letting Mamata walk to his swearing-in

A TV grab of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee walking to the venue of the swearing-in ceremony of her Karnataka counterpart, H D Kumaraswamy, in Bengaluru on Wednesday.

An irked state government sought a report on the blocking of Mamata Banerjee’s convoy, which forced her to walk 1.2 kilometres to attend Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy’s swearing-in on Wednesday.

As her convoy remained stuck, the West Bengal chief minister took a walk from Chalukya Circle along the Vidhana Soudha’s back gate number-1 to the grand steps where the dais for the swearing-in was arranged.

Sources said her convoy was blocked to let Governor Vajubhai R Vala’s motorcade to proceed and blamed the confusion on several VIP convoys heading towards the venue at the same time.

“There were 18 VIP convoys and we had the order of preference (in terms of allowing unrestricted passage), according to the protocol and the hierarchy,” explained a senior police official on why a few had zero-traffic access.

“We were prepared to handle all the 18 convoys, but due to the rain, they all proceeded to the venue at 3.45 pm and arrived at 4 pm. This created a traffic jam,” he added.

Though Mamata’s convoy stood at the signal for just one minute, she decided to walk, noticing vehicles crowding up at the Vidhana Soudha gates. Ignoring the security protocol, she took the road adjacent to the legislators’ homes and entered the venue through the back gate.

Soon after getting on to the dais, a seething Mamata sidled up to DG-IGP Neelmani Raju — also on the dais — and asked about the traffic and VIP security. The West Bengal chief minister was seemingly upset over walking a long distance with just her bodyguards and no police escort.

Police sources, however, explained that she overlooked her security protocol that required her to follow the line of cars and took a shortcut.

Meanwhile, Kumaraswamy reportedly pulled up Neelmani and asked her to explain the incident. “I’ve had a word with the DG-IGP and issued a warning. I’m expecting a report on the incident,” Kumaraswamy said. Neelmani told DH that she has asked for a report from the city police commissioner on the traffic and law and order situation on Wednesday.

Like Mamata, other Opposition leaders were forced to either wait at the traffic jam or walk to the venue. BSP supremo and former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati also walked about half a kilometre to the venue.

Her successor and SP leader Akhilesh Yadav, on the other hand, waded through the sea of traffic at the Chalukya junction to reach the line of cars at the Vidhana Soudha.