Minister, ex-MLA lock horns during protest

The protestors had demanded repair of Hassan-Arkalgud road

Pandemonium prevailed for a while during a protest as tempers flared between District in-charge Minister Dr H C Mahadevappa and former MLA A T Ramaswamy (ATR), in Hassan, on Saturday.

There were heated arguments between the two over the delay in road repair works between Hassan and Arkalgud, and at one point Ramaswamy even threw the documents given by the Minister. However, police intervened and escorted the Minister, bringing the situation under control.

Incident

A protest, led by Ramaswamy was held near the DC’s office, seeking repair of the road from Hassan to Arkalgud and other roads in the taluk.

Learning about the protest, Mahadevappa arrived on the spot after attending Kannada Rajyotsava programme, when he was stopped by ATR’s supporters, who raised slogans against the Minister and the government.

The Minister tried to pacify the agitators and said tenders have been invited for Rs 238 crore worth projects to repair the 73-km stretch road. Steps would be taken to fill the potholes at a cost of Rs 60 lakh, he said.

The situation turned volatile, when the Minister said that the condition of the road is the same since 20 years and appealed, not to stage protests with political motives. This irked the agitators, who lashed out at the Minister, and alleged no tender has been called so far.

ATR demanded the documents related to the tender process. Though one of the engineers, who was present, produced a document, ATR snatched it and threw it towards the Minister. At this point, police intervened and escorted the Minister to safety.
Later, DC V Anbu Kumar and SP Ravi D Channananavar pacified the protesters and made them withdraw the protest.

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