The Karnataka BJP’s much-hyped Parivartana Yatra, kicking off on Thursday as part of its campaign to return to power in the state in 2018, saw commuters struggling as traffic came to a standstill on Tumakuru Road.
Even as the party’s National President Amit Shah arrived at the BIEC grounds by helicopter at 2pm to flag off the 75-day rally, a 2-km stretch of the important Tumakuru Road came to a stop. The Yatra features a massive bike rally that BJP sources will include nearly two lakh party workers on one lakh motorbikes.
Not only were ordinary commuters inconvenienced, but the free movement of ambulances in the area was also seriously impaired. News9 reported that at least four ambulances were stuck in the gridlock.
Speaking with TNM, Karnataka Home Minister Ramalinga Reddy hit out at the BJP for going ahead with the bike rally despite advice to the contrary. "We had told the BJP to not hold any bike rally, but they did not listen. Look at what has happened now. We asked them to conduct a programme. We don't care if it is a big one but we had asked them not to hold a bike rally.”
The Home Minister said that the police were working hard to ensure that ambulances were given space to pass through.
“I have requested the IG to ensure that no one is inconvenienced. The Police Commissioner and his team are working on clearing the traffic to ensure that the ambulance passes through. You are the media right, please tell the BJP not to conduct such bike rallies that inconvenience so many people," the Minister added.
Beside Amit Shah, the inauguration of the Parivartana Yatra saw many senior leaders of the party participating, including Union Ministers Piyush Goyal, Anant Kumar Hegde and Sadananda Gowda along with leaders from the state like former CM BS Yeddyurappa, Leader of Opposition in the Legislative Council Eashwarappa, MP CT Ravi, and National Organising Secretary BL Santosh.
The Nava Karnataka Nirmana Parivartana Yatra is being led by State President and CM aspirant BS Yeddyurappa, and will pass through all 224 Assembly constituencies over 75 days. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address the Yatra when it returns to Bengaluru on its concluding day on January 28.