Avalanche of supporters, party colours at centres

Security not fool-proof enough as fans get boisterous to greet election winners

Avalanche of supporters, party colours at centres

The ''Hand'' symbol firmly entrenched, the tricolour wave engulfed Bangalore on Wednesday. While the Congress won a clear mandate across the State, the City was not devoid of its share of support for the party.

As the winning trend trickled in, Congress workers thronged the city’s counting centres to announce their return to power. The JD(S) and BJP also had their fair share of ‘fan base’ that turned up to give ‘morale support’ to their candidates.

Every round of counting, announced on loudspeakers and messaged slyly by their counting agents from inside the polling stations, was greeted vociferously. Making a killing, amidst this fanfare for the candidates, were the ice-cream trolleys.

Unmindful of the prohibitions within the counting centres, party supporters raised slogans of victory. Securitymen and election officials had a tough time managing the streaming supporters. In some places, the police had to push the supporters outside the counting centre, when they did not heed repeated warnings.

At Freedom Park, when Akhanda Srinivasa Murthy won the Pulakeshinagar seat, slogans were raised by his supporters and sweets were distributed on the roadside to commuters and party workers alike. He was greeted with garlands and a mini procession was taken out on Seshadri Road, once he exited the counting centre. K Gopalaiah, another JD(S) candidate who emerged victorious from Mahalakshmi Layout constituency, had a similar reception in store.

BJP supporters were not left behind as three of their candidates Dr C N Ashwath Narayan from Malleswaram, R Jagadish Kumar from Hebbal and S Raghu from C V Raman Nagar were declared winners.

Maximum trouble

The police had the maximum trouble when Congress candidates K J George from Sarvagnanagar and Byrati Basavaraj from K R Puram emerged victorious with good margins. Celebratory processions broke out in tandem for these victorious candidates on Seshadri Road. Party flags and garlands could be seen all along the road as well as inside the Freedom Park. The police had to resort to public address system to remind party workers that there was Section 144 of the CrPC (unlawful assembly) in place in the City and taking out processions was not allowed. The supporters toned down only after more police force arrived near the counting centre.

At Mount Carmel College, the police personnel were faced with a major law and order situation when supporters of candidates, N A Haris (Congress), Dinesh Gundurao (Congress), Roshan Baig (Congress) and Zameer Ahmed Khan (JD-S) came out flashing victory signs. The Congress and JD(S) party workers were found at every corner in and around the counting centres, blocking traffic, dumping ‘garbage’ (with flyers strewn on the roads) and loud cheering for their winning candidates. Barricaded from entering the premises, there was a lot of chaos when these candidates came out to greet their workers. More than the cheers, much noticed was the jeering by Congress workers, when Rajarajeshwari Nagar sitting MLA, M Srinivas, conceded defeat and left the counting centre by 12 noon.

 The victory of Roshan Baig, under whose constituency the counting centre was located, saw a sea of supporters screaming in support of their MLA and the Congress party taking out processions. Flyers of Dinesh Gundurao, who retained the Gandhinagar seat, were thrown into the air as soon as he was announced victorious. The sole victory for the BJP in this centre, S Suresh Kumar from the Rajajinagar seat, was greeted by a handful of the party supporters who accompanied the candidate. 

Scene repeated

At VHD Home Science College, the actual celebration began with the arrival of S T Somashekar, when his victory was confirmed. His supporters raised slogans and lifted him to pose for the cameras. The scene was repeated when the victories of Krishna Byre Gowda, BJP’s winning candidate from Yelahanka, S R Vishwanath, and Dasarahalli BJP candidate Muniraju were announced.

With Congress and BJP workers competing with each other in raising slogans, there was anticipation of trouble. However, it died down when Gowda and Vishwanath congratulated each other over their victories.

Despite good green cover, the atmosphere in the premises turned humid. The security also left people hungry and thirsty as the only canteen in the venue was closed. The person who was given contract to supply food was unable to do so due to the number of people and due to the strict vigil by the paramilitary forces.

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