BJP, state government set for showdown over bike rally

BJP, state government set for showdown over bike rally

BJP, state government set for showdown over bike rally

The Congress government and the Opposition BJP appear set for a showdown as the saffron party is firm on taking out its ‘Mangaluru Chalo’ bike rally from five districts across the State, starting Tuesday.

Bengaluru City Police has refused permission for the rally and imposed prohibitory orders for three days under the Karnataka Police Act. The police tightened security in and around sensitive and hyper sensitive areas.

The Dakshina Kannada police and Mangaluru City Police Commissioner have also declined permission for the rally being organised by BJP Yuva Morcha to protest the killing of RSS activists and BJP functionaries. Besides Dakshina Kannada, permission has also been denied for the rally in Udupi, Chikkamagaluru and Uttara Kannada districts coming under the western range.

The morcha has also sought the dismissal of Forest Minister B Ramanath Rai, accusing him of backing “anti-social elements” involved in the killings.

The Morcha proposes to launch the rally in Bengaluru (to be flagged off by party state president B S Yeddyurappa at Freedom Park) and Hubballi on Tuesday. On Wednesday, similar rallies will be taken out from Shivamogga, Mysuru and Chikkamagaluru.

The rallyists will converge for a protest meeting at the Nehru Maidan in Mangaluru on September 7.

Mangaluru City Police Commissioner T R Suresh said, “Mangaluru is a communally sensitive region. Keeping in mind law and order and the interest of the general public, permission has been denied for the proposed bike rally on September 7.”

In Bengaluru, BJP leaders Jagadish Shettar, K S Eshwarappa and R Ashoka met Home Minister Ramalinga Reddy to seek permission for the rally.

Reddy, much to the chagrin of the BJP leaders, washed his hands off the issue saying the police of the districts from where the rallies were planned were the competent authorities to grant permission.

BJP firm

Not willing to relent, the BJP leaders told the media that they would ensure the success of the rally. The onus of preventing untoward incidents was on the state government, they said.

Admitting that he had told the BJP leaders to seek permission from the respective superintendents and commissioners of the five districts, the Home minister said, nevertheless, he had advised the BJP not to hold the bike rally.

“I advised them not to hold the bike rally as it might lead to severe traffic jams and accidents. I also told them to restrict their protest rally to Mangaluru,” he added.

Speaking to DH, Shettar termed Reddy’s statements irresponsible. “He should behave like a Home minister. Instead of assuring us protection during the rally, he is pointing fingers towards the local police.”

‘Samarasya Nadige’

Meanwhile, Rai told reporters that he would be leading a ‘Samarasya Nadige’ from Farangipete to Mani in Mangaluru on September 12. He said everybody, except “those involved in political murders like the BJP, Sangh Parivar, SDPI and PFI,” were welcome to participate in the peace march.

This march is seen as a counter to BJP’s rally.