The Congress government denied permission fearing that the rally may rile up communal sentiments in the tense coastal districts.

Cong stumps BJPs bike rally in Karnataka Hundreds of workers detained across the state
news Protest Tuesday, September 05, 2017 - 12:54

It was the BJP and Yuva Morcha’s war cry demanding the ban of the Social Democratic Party of India and Popular Front of India. But the Siddaramaiah-led Congress government denied permission for the bike rally to Mangaluru on Tuesday.

Irked by the government’s move, BJP workers decided to defy police orders and go ahead with the rally.

Late on Monday night, police heads of Bengaluru, Mangaluru, Kolar, Chikkamagaluru, Hassan, Hubballi, Ballari and Udupi prohibited the BJP from holding these rallies, citing different grounds.

Primarily, the denial of permission was due to fears that the rally could spark violence, the Bengaluru Police said in a press release. The rally was also to ask justice for Hindu activists killed in the coastal region and to demand resignation of Minister for Environment and Forests, Ramanath Rai. The congressman in charge of Mangaluru district is the RSS’ nemesis.

At 10.30 on Tuesday morning, the Bengaluru Police advised BJP State President BS Yeddyurappa to not step out of his house fearing violence and possible attacks on the veteran politician.

Yeddyurappa, who was to flag off the event, decided to remain in his residence and not attend the protest. Meanwhile, former Home Minister, R Ashok flagged off the bike rally at Bengaluru’s Freedom Park at 11.00 am.

R Ashok, Udupi-Chikkamagaluru MP Shobha Karnadlaje and hundreds of party workers were detained by the police at Freedom Park.

"The day BS Yeddyurappa was announced as CM candidate, Siddaramaiah's story was over. We will conduct 10 more rallies like this. Even if there are 10 Siddaramaiahs like you, you cannot do anything to BJP. We will win in Karnataka too, and get justice for Hindus and their rights. You can stop us here, or at different places, but you cannot stop us from going to Mangaluru. How many will you arrest? Lakhs will come. The DCP asked me if I have a driving license and insurance. I asked him if he had a warrant," R Ashok said.

Shobha Karandlaje had to be dragged into the police van. 

“The protestors are using very provocative words. They claim to be a political party, so they should try to uphold harmony. If they want to walk, they can do so. But using bikes will block roads and inconvenience common people. Ask them to march to Delhi, let them ask for loan waiver and nationalised banks – we will go with them,” CM Siddaramaiah told the media.

BJP had planned to mobilise 20,000 workers and set off on a rally to Mangaluru.

The Congress government denied permission fearing that the rally may rile up communal sentiments in the tense coastal districts.

“We are not against rallies or public meetings. They are the essence of democracy. We will allow it as long as the police feel that there would not be any law and order problem. Ramanath Rai has said that the bike rally was an attempt by the BJP to disturb peace in Mangaluru. Home minister R Ramalinga Reddy, also feels the rally would lead to traffic problems on national highways and end up choking Mangaluru. Hence, we have denied permission,” the CM told media persons.

Leader of Opposition in the Karnataka Assembly Jagadish Settar and BJP MLA Aravind Limbavali are all set to kick start the rally from Hubballi.

“This is a shameless government. It cannot take a decision on its own. The CM and Home Minister have directed the police to deny permission despite the BJP telling them it is a peaceful rally.” R Ashoka said.

Home minister Ramalinga Reddy said that he had asked BJP leaders to hold a public meeting in Mangaluru instead of organsing the bike rally.

According to a senior police officer in Bengaluru, 1,000 police personnel and one RAF battalion with 120 members has been deployed for security arrangements.

Superintendent of Police of Kolar, Hassan, Hubballi, Chikkamagaluru, Ballari, Udupi and Dakshina Kannada districts have been told by the government to stop the bikes from leaving the areas.

In Kolar district, former BJP MLA Y Sampani and tens of party workers were detained when they tried to kick off the rally.

The police have set up a checkpoint at Nelamangala to stop BJP workers from leaving Bengaluru.

Mangaluru police commissioner T R Suresh on Monday evening issued orders denying permission for the rally in order to maintain peace.

Yeddyurappa said that the rally is being organized by the BJP Yuva Morcha and did not need anyone's permission and that they would go ahead with the protest.

Rally vs Walk

To counter the BJP’s rally, the Congress is planning to organise a ‘Walk for communal harmony’ in Mangaluru on September 12.

Titled Samarasya Nadige, the walkathon will be undertaken from Farangipet to Maane.

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