Obstacle for first KSRTC trip to Kannaditodu

The first trip of KSRTC buses, meant to ferry passengers till Kannaditodu, was marred by a controversy, following a war of words between local political leaders.

After the development of Kolcharubandaka road, the KSRTC buses which used to take passengers till Kolcharu, was expected to move ahead till Kannaditodu. The first trip, however, also witnessed a war of words between BJP and Congress leaders and the trip was carried out under police vigil.

The Kolcharubandaka road, which was developed at a cost of Rs three crore, was inaugurated recently. The people from the regions demanded movement of buses on the road. District In-charge Minister B Ramanath Rai, who was present during the inaugural function, spoke to KSRTC officials in this regard and also told Sullia Block Congress President M Venkappa Gowda to make efforts in this regard. The buses, till then, used to travel till Kolcharu. As per an order issued on Monday evening, it was directed to the KSRTC buses to ferry the passengers till Manimoole.

M Venkappa Gowda flagged off the first trip on Tuesday morning, by giving sweets to the driver. Leaders from both Congress and BJP were present on the occasion.

Sudden turn

When the trip was about to start, some leaders from the BJP said that Sullia MLA S Angara will flag off the event, which led to a tussle between the workers of both the parties. Leaders from the Congress shouted victory slogans for Ramanath Rai, holding Congress flags and said that the trip was possible because of the efforts taken by Rai.

Aletti Gram Panchayat member Sudarshana Patikallu raised objections and maintained that the MLA should initiate the trip. He also demanded that the bus should not move till then. Prakash Hegde, Sullia Town Panchayat president, Vinay Kumar Kandadka, BJP Sullia town president and others also blocked the way by standing in front the bus. An exchange of words took place between Prakash Hegde, Venkappa Gowda and others on the matter.

Further, BJP leaders urged that the Congress flags which were used to decorate the bus, be taken off the vehicle. “Venkappa Gowda is not an elected representative and, hence, cannot flag-off the trip,” they said.

Venkappa Gowda, in reply, said that the material used to decorate the bus doesn’t represent the Congress party, but is only a ribbon containing the tri-colour of the Indian flag. “The trip has come to reality only due to the efforts of Ramanath Rai and not because of the efforts of the MLA or his funds. No inauguration was done by waving the Congress flag,” he clarified.

Sullia sub-inspector Chandrashekhar, who arrived at the spot, listened to the versions of both the parties and tried to bring the situation to normal. The SI suggested them to allow the bus to move on and not to disturb the passengers. Even then, the argument continued for a long time and, finally, the bus moved towards Kolchar.

As a precautionary measure, however, two policemen were deputed in the bus.

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