Scorching sun dries up verve at Congress rally

Scorching sun dries up verve at Congress rally

Senior leaders leave venue midway through programme for change

The State Congress on Sunday launched its much-hyped programme ‘Congressge banni badalavane thanni’ with fanfare, inviting people to join hands with it to bring about a change.

But the programme received a lacklustre response from its own leaders as well as people, thanks to the festering differences among the leaders and the scorching summer heat.

Within half an hour of the start of the public rally (at about 1.30 pm - the event was scheduled for 11 am) organised as part of the programme at Gollarahatti, off Magadi Road, on the outskirts of the City, a majority of people had left the venue, unable to bear the scorching heat. By the time the event reached the concluding part (at about 3.30 pm), not many people were left to applaud the speeches by leaders.

Not only people, many of the senior party leaders like B K Hariprasad, H K Patil, K H Muniyappa, T B Jayachandra, C M Ibrahim, D K Shivakumar and Roshan Baig abruptly left the venue along with their followers in the middle of the event, which was aimed at strengthening the party for the next Assembly elections.

The Congress, which has been out of power for over six years in the State, has pinned hopes on the next Assembly polls. Of the four union ministers from the State, only Muniyappa was present.

KPCC president G Parameshwara and Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly, Siddaramaiah, had differences over organising the programme. Siddaramaiah had opposed the programme organised at a time when the State is facing severe drought.

He was said to be unhappy with the State party chief for not involving him in chalking out the programme. But Parameshwara, who had been riding high on the success of the party in the recent Udupi-Chikmagalur bypoll, was bent upon launching the programme.

However, Siddaramaiah was among the leaders who remained at the venue till the end of the programme.

Earlier, the programme was launched with much fanfare with Parameshwara and Siddaramaiah blowing the trumpet at the party’s main office on Queen’s Road. The party workers performed ‘aarati’ to the leaders.

The leaders went in a procession from the Magadi Road-Ring Road tollgate junction till NICE Road junction, before reaching the venue of the public rally. Though a large number of people had initially gathered at the venue, a majority of them left as the temperature soared.

Most of the leaders who addressed the gathering ridiculed the ruling BJP for its leaders getting involved in a series of scams and scandals. They blamed the party for its misrule. They made it a point to highlight the alleged involvement of BJP leader and former chief minister B S Yeddyurappa in land and mining scams.

Siddaramaiah termed Yeddyurappa “shameless” and said the former chief minister was flashing victory sign while going to jail.

“He (Yeddyurappa) shows victory sign even while going to jail. Any person with self respect will never do it. So, I have stopped flashing the victory sign,” he said.

Parameshwara said the BJP government led by Sadananda Gowda was surviving on artificial ventilation. It was the responsibility of the Congress to remove the government and provide good and stable governance to the people.

AICC General Secretary and State incharge of the party affairs, Madhusudan Mistry, said nobody could defeat the party if the leaders remained united and worked towards mitigating the sufferings of the people, especially those affected by drought.

Muniyappa said all those who conspired to defeat the party in the 2008 Assembly polls should be kept at bay.

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