Speaker stuck in traffic, misses swearing-in

Ramesh Kumar

The notoriety of Bengaluru’s traffic is not even sparing the high and mighty. After West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Legislative Assembly Speaker K R Ramesh Kumar is the latest to lash out at the H D Kumaraswamy administration for “bad” traffic management.

Thanks to the chaotic traffic situation, Kumar, despite being a presiding officer, couldn’t make it to the swearing-in ceremony of the council of ministers who were inducted into Kumaraswamy’s cabinet.

Kumar, who was barely 100 metres away from Raj Bhavan, was stranded in traffic for over 40 minutes. More than 4,000 people, including several VIPs, attended the event, bringing the traffic to a grinding halt.

Miffed at having missed the ceremony, Kumar shot off a letter to Chief Secretary Ratna Prabha, taking a strong exception to the breach of protocol.

“The arrogance and ignorance of your officials and the officials of Raj Bhavan resulted in today’s situation. It was their responsibility to ensure adequate arrangements for the presiding officers. I want to know who gave permission for hundreds of vehicles to be parked inside and outside Raj Bhavan. This is an unpardonable mistake,” he stated in his letter.

Speaking to DH, Kumar said that though he was keen on attending the event, thanks to the “negligence” of the officialdom, he had to return dejected. “I was stuck right in front of Raj Bhavan, from 1.48 pm. I could hear the legislators taking oath. After I realising the futility of waiting, I decided to return to my village. It’s just been two weeks since Mamata Banerjee too had a similar experience. We can gauge the kind of officials who are at the helm. They are not trained to rise to the expectations. This is nothing but the indifference of officials.”

Kumar however said that he had decided to drop the matter after Ratna Prabha called him and apologised. “The chief secretary and Bengaluru police commissioner called me a while back and expressed their regret. Now I want to consider this a closed issue,” he added.

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Speaker stuck in traffic, misses swearing-in

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