- In Hebbal, the Congress was hoping to campaign on a grand scale.
- However, the plan, which involved 5000 pressure cookers didn't go so well.
- After a near riot broke out during the CM's speech the distribution was suspended.
Asianet Newsable has learnt that Congress leaders have found an innovative way of getting a crowd gathered for a speech. Reportedly the public was made to sit for Siddaramaiah's speech during an event in RT Nagar on Sunday by promising a 5-litre pressure cooker.
Here's what happened -
On Sunday, Congress workers from Hebbal in Bengaluru - a BJP bastion - was turned into a Congress fort by ticket aspirant and close aide of Siddaramaiah, Byrathi Suresh.
Suresh, a sitting MLC, held a gala event at the RT Nagar grounds to send a strong signal to his opponent - YA Narayanswamy, a BJP MLA who held a similar event to celebrate his one year in office last week.
In the 'Swaraj' event, planned to strengthen the Congress, lists of achievements by the Congress and plans to develop Hebbal were announced.
Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah and State Home Minister Dr G Parameshwar attended and asked the public to support Suresh in the 2018 elections. But the thousands of members of the public, mostly slum dwellers, who had come to the event had set their eyes on a different prize - pressure cookers.
Even as Siddaramaiah began his speech, Congress party workers assembled some 8,000 boxes of 5-litre pressure cookers, and began distributing them. Chaos ensued. The public started to push and pull each other to take away the boxes leading to quite a bit of commotion and a possible stampede.
Deputy Commissioner of Police, North Zone, Labhu Ram and his team intervened and cancelled the distribution.
"The situation would have turned violent as there was a large number of public members and the CM's security would have become an issue. Hence we asked the workers to hold up the distribution till CM leaves," he said.
Khairun Begum, a booth level leader from Anand Nagar slum who had come with 150 women supporter, stated that all the women folk were promised five-litre cookers and were disappointed about not getting the gifts.
"All the members were asked to wait till the CM leaves. But once the CM left, even ours leaders left the venue without giving anything,"
Like Begum, Chinnathai, another woman who arrived with over 50 supporters from V Nagenahalli, had to return empty-handed as Congress leaders said the gifts would be sent home.
"I came to collect pressure cookers, but they just made me and my team wait for hours on the ground. Now they are asking us to go home empty handed," said Chinnathai.
Vijayakumar, the ex-Corporator of Ganganagar, bore some brunt of the ire and he was surrounded by women. The women demanded that he arrange for the cookers as he is close to Suresh.
Visibly upset Vijaykumar asked the women to keep calm and said the gifts would be sent their respective areas through block presidents and distributed on Monday morning.
Byrathi Suresh, a close confidante of CM Siddaramaiah, seems to really want to win his seat. Reportedly he has arranged for 12,000 pressure cookers, 50 push carts for vegetable vendors, four drinking water tankers and one ambulance in Hebbal.
"This is a gift for Ugadi from my side. Since the public was too much on Sunday evening the gifts could not be given at the venue. The gifts are now being distributed by party workers at respective wards of Hebbal," he said
Last Updated 31, Mar 2018, 6:41 PM IST