Karnataka secretariat turns fortress to foil Congress siege plan


Bangalore : Karnataka’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government Saturday turned the state secretariat, Vidhana Soudha, into a fortress guarded by hundreds of police personnel to foil the Congress’s bid to lay siege to the building to protest the government’s policies.

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Around 100 Congress leaders, legislators and former legislators were arrested as they tried to enter the stately building housing offices of the chief minister, the assembly, legislative council and senior officers.

The Congress, the main opposition party in the state, planned the siege to protest what it described as the BJP government’s failure to provide relief to people affected by drought in some parts of the state and floods in others, to tackle the worsening power situation and delay in providing ration cards to four million families living below the poverty line.

The Congress planned a meeting of its office-bearers, legislators and former legislators in Vidhana Soudha as part of the ‘siege’ plan. However, police stopped them about a kilometre away from the secretariat.

State Congress president R.V. Deshpande and leader of the Congress legislature party Siddaramaih condemned the state government for the deployment of massive police force to ‘suppress’ the opposition parties’ right for peaceful protest.

Deshpande and Siddaramaih told reporters that their party “will not be cowed down by such show of force and will only intensify the agitation against the (chief minister) B.S. Yeddyurappa government in the coming days.”

Apart from the Congress leaders, media persons were also not allowed to enter the secretariat.