Rahul's interaction venue shifted after public angst

A file picture of the birds' park inside the Manyata Tech Park's Residential Enclave near Nagawara on Outer Ring Road. Photo: Special Arrangement

Planning an informal discussion between AICC President Rahul Gandhi and techies from various software firms on Monday at a bird park inside Manyata Tech Park, Karnataka Congress faced stiff opposition from the local population and the BJP, which complained to the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO).

Sensing the public angst, Congress decided to shift the venue of Rahul Gandhi’s interaction to an amphitheatre inside the tech park.

Sources in the Congress party revealed to DH that Rahul wanted to hold an interaction with software engineers of Bengaluru and understand their aspirations as part of his nationwide tour in the run-up to the Lok Sabha polls. Accordingly, the party leaders in Bengaluru were entrusted with the responsibility to choose a suitable venue.

Scouting for better places, the leaders including Byatarayanapura MLA Krishna Byre Gowda visited the bird park inside the Manyata Residential Park, an amphitheatre at the tech park and a cricket ground behind the tech park. The bird park with its serene ambience was chosen as the venue for the event.

However, soon the decision was opposed by the local population. Subsequently, the BJP leaders too objected to the programme in an ‘ecologically sensitive’ area. BJP MLCs Ravikumar, Tejaswini Gowda and co-spokespersons A H Anand and S Prakash petitioned to the CEO Karnataka Sanjiv Kumar to cancel the permission.

“The bird park at Nagavara near Manyata Tech Park is notified by the forest department for exclusive birds’ park. The Election officer disregarding the nature of the park has permitted Rahul Gandhi’s public function which will attract large gathering at the venue and disturb natural habitat,” the complaint said. The CEO reportedly instructed BBMP Commissioner who is also the Returning officer to visit the site along with a conservator of forest and submit a report by night.

Meantime, aware of the public angst, the Congress leaders chose to shift the venue. Sources revealed that Rahul Gandhi’s event will be held at the amphitheatre located inside the Tech Park close to the outer ring road.

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