The Congress’ Karnataka unit chief DK Shivakumar lambasted the ruling BJP government over Union Home Minister Amit Shah reportedly calling off a roadshow — planned to be held in Mangaluru on Saturday, 11 February — citing security reasons.
Shah was on a one-day visit to the Dakshina Kannada district to inaugurate the Central Arecanut and Cocoa Marketing and Processing Co-operative Limited (CAMPCO) Golden Jubilee celebrations and the Bharat Mata Mandir at Amaragiri in Puttur, and take part in party conventions, meetings, and roadshow across the district.
However, the roadshow was cancelled due to security reasons, claimed local BJP leaders.
Taking a dig at the BJP, KPCC president Shivakumar told reporters in Bengaluru on Sunday: “If the Union home minister is facing law-and-order issues in Mangaluru, what will be the difficulty of the common man?”
He added: “It is a shame to the state. Let the BJP respond to this.”
Demanding that the ruling BJP government give up power, the KPCC president said: “In the past, BJP state unit head and MP Nalin Kumar Kateel’s vehicle was attacked by his own party workers, after which it turned turtle. The BJP is using the sons of poor people to carry out such works.”
He added: “If the state is failing to provide proper security to the Union Home Minister Shah, one can understand the state of law and order in Karnataka. There is no better evidence than this incident. The Karnataka government which is not able to ensure law and order should step down immediately.”
Roadshow cancelled due to Kola: BJP leader
The BJP’s Karnataka unit had planned a 2.5-km road show from Kavur to Padavinangady Maryhill on the evening of Saturday. The roadshow was supposed to be led by Shah.
On condition of anonymity, a BJP leader associated with the Dakshina Kannada BJP unit told South First: “The roadshow was cancelled in order to not to disturb the kola, a religious event, organised by Koragajja Club at Koragajjana Gudi. When we informed the Union home minister that the roadshow would affect the Kola, he himself called it off.”
He added: “At the time of Kola, it was difficult to provide zero traffic to the Union home minister. He was also scheduled to leave for Delhi, which was an emergency. It is because of security and other reasons that the roadshow was cancelled. However, he held a roadshow of about half a kilometre outside the Mangaluru International Airport.”
Shah oversees poll preparation
After taking part in various events, Shah chaired a core-committee meeting with the party leaders of the coastal region at Sridevi College at Kenjaru on Saturday.
A BJP leader told South First: “Shah appealed to the local party leaders and workers to increase the visit to rural areas and ensure that all the union and state government programmes are reached to the last man in their respective assembly segments.”
Another BJP leader, who did not wish to be named, added: “He also entrusted the poll-related party work to the incumbent MLAs until the party released the official candidates’ list for the April-May Karnataka Assembly polls. He stressed strengthening the party base at the grassroot level. He did not discuss the political strategy for the coastal region in the core committee meeting.”