Game of political one-upmanship in Vijayanagar worries police

The activities of two political archrivals in Vijayanagar area have caused a headache for the police.

Housing Minister V Somanna and Congress leader M Krishnappa, the MLA of Vijayanagar constituency, are attempting to outdo each other in putting up hoardings and banners in Vijayanagar, Maruthi Mandir, T Dasarahalli, Magadi Road, Toll Gate, Bhashyam Circle, Mysore Road and adjoining areas.

A month ago, Krishnappa (popularly known as ‘Layout’ Krishnappa) and his MLA-son Priya Krishna held a cultural event at BBMP grounds in the vicinity.

Soon, Somanna’s supporters decided to conduct a large-scale event to release a book highlighting his achievements. Later, Krishnappa and his son ensured their banners were everywhere, inviting public for ‘Nage Jagarane’ during Mahashivarathri on March 10.

A week later, Somanna’s supporters placed another flex next to Krishnappa’s inviting the public for a similar event on the same day.

Photographs

They went a step ahead and even used the photographs of the late pontiff of Adi Chunchanagiri Mutt, Balagangadharanath Swami.

A week ago, a big flex of Krishnappa was affixed to a Metro Rail pillar near Vijayanagar bus stand and within a couple of days a huge banner of Somanna was found adorning a pillar opposite to it.

Tension

The hoisting of banners has resulted in tension between the two groups, creating problems for the local police officers who have to treat every situation with utmost care. Now, they are worried about how the situation will turn out in this politically sensitive area, once the dates for the Assembly elections are announced.

“We have been under pressure for the last couple of years due to the competition between the two leaders. Now, we are worried that it might take an ugly turn in the days to come as the fight for political monopoly hots up,” a senior officer in charge of a few police stations in the area told Deccan Herald  on condition of anonymity.

“I have not personally attempted to influence the police at any time. But there are 15 corporators and others supporting me in this area and they may have done this. But, I have not pressured the cops at any time. I never require such publicity. The entire City knows what I have done for them,” Somanna told Deccan Herald.

Krishnappa and his son Priya Krishna could not be reached for comments.

Vijayanagar police inspector M H Umesh said that police permission was not mandatory to install banners, but only the permission of the space owners was required.
Hence, nobody approached the police for permission, he added.

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