Muniyappa runs, jumps platform to avoid Cong men, and opens counter

Muniyappa runs, jumps platform to avoid Cong men, and opens counter

in a hurry: Union Minister of State for Railways  K H Muniyappa running to escape from Congress workers to inaugurate a railway ticket counter at Kodihalli Railway Station in Bangalore on Saturday. DH photo

While the minister insists he had come on a casual inspection there after a private visit,  the MLA states that Muniyappa had come to the station to inaugurate a ticket counter and an underpass and had violated protocol by not extending an invitation to the local MLA.

Events took a nasty turn around 11.30 am when the Minister reached the station accompanied by railway officials. Over 50 supporters of the MLAs refused to permit him to  reach upto the ticket counter demanding voiceferously that Byregowda should have been invited, say sources.

The Minister then called up the MLA, who was by then, on his way to Malur and expressed his inability to reach there, sources add. Then, the Railway Minister himself indulged in trespassing on the tracks, an offence under the Railways Act. He ran down and crossed over to the other platform so that he could proceed to the other side. He was chased by Byregowda’s supporters, a move which created much anxiety for railway officials.

Minister Muniyappa told Deccan Herald that he had gone to the place on a private visit. “I went to my party man Chakrapani’s house for a function and decided to inspect the railway station and the underpass nearby.” He said that he had been carrying out inspections at different stations and junctions during the last one-and-a-half months and there was no need to invite the MLA for that. “It is not laying of a foundation stone or inauguration function, for which protocol has to be observed,” he claimed. The Railway Minister also claimed that he had invited the MLA even before he decided to visit the station and called him again later due to pressure from supporters.

Meanwhile, Byregowda insists that it was a planned official function. “The minister was accompanied by railway officials and some media members too, which clearly shows it is an official function,” he said. Muniyappa called the MLA only after the supporters of the latter inisted upon it, he claimed.

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