Soudha turns fortress amid tension in lounges

The Vidhana Soudha, the Vikas Soudha and the multi-storey building were closed for public entry on Saturday.

Vidhana Soudha, the seat of the legislature, was arguably Karnataka’s most well-guarded location on Saturday. So much so that even employees found it difficult to gain access ahead of Yeddyurappa’s floor test.

Outside, the sight of security personnel patrolling with semi-automatic guns was straight out of a warzone, while Vidhana Soudha’s gates were crowded with city police frantically checking identity cards of persons seeking an entry. Apparently, there were about 2,000 security personnel, including paramilitary, deployed for the big day.

The Vidhana Soudha, the Vikas Soudha and the multi-storey building were closed for public entry on Saturday.

While the House was scheduled to be convened at 11 am, Congress leaders were among the first to arrive, at least an hour early - former chief minister Siddaramaiah, K J George, N A Haris and others. They were soon followed by a bus, comprising Congress legislators who had been confined, to keep them from being poached.

Inside, the mood in the party lounges was tense, especially among the Congress leaders. When the first session of the House broke for lunch, no one who ventured out as lunch was served for the legislators inside. While Congress leaders like Ramalinga Reddy and D K Shivakumar walked in and out occasionally during the oath-taking ceremony, not a single BJP leader came out.

There was a brief skirmish when Congress MLC
VS Ugrappa took exception to the marshalls (the legislature security personnel) did not allow AICC general secretary in charge of Karnataka K C Venugopal, while BJP national general secretary Muralidhar Rao was allowed in. Venugopal was allowed inside later.

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Soudha turns fortress amid tension in lounges

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