George asks BJP to not picket Suvarna Soudha

Home Minister K J George on Thursday asked the State BJP to drop its proposal to picket Suvarna Soudha in Belagavi on December 9, the opening day of the winter session of the State legislature.

“We are not against peaceful protests. But there have been media reports quoting BJP leader B S Yeddyurappa urging the protesters to bring sticks with them. The police and the district adminstration will take all steps to ensure there is no disruption of peace,” George told reporters in Bengaluru.

The BJP has proposed to gather around 50,000 people to protest in front of the Suvarna Soudha, the venue of the winter session of legislature, on December 9. The party has organised the agitation to highlight the plight of sugar cane farmers who have not been paid their dues, the deteriorating law and order situation in the State and the increasing number of crimes against women.

George said the district administration was also considering expanding the customary imposition of prohibitory orders in a radius of two kilometres around the venue of the legislature session.

On the BJP’s call that the party would boycott George and three other ministers for their alleged involvement in land related controversies, the home minister said there was no case against him.

George said the Kodagu bandh call given by the BJP to protest against the implementation of the recommendations of the Kasturirangan report on Western Ghats, earlier this week, was political motivated. The report just does not confine to Kodagu but spans the entire Western Ghats. “The BJP is in power at the Centre, it can withhold the implementation of the recommendations,” he said. George is the District In-charge Minister of Kodagu.

Later in the evening, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah held a review meeting on the security arrangements for the Belagavi session at his home office.

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