congress: Cong’s bullock-cart protest against fuel rates hits traffic in Bengaluru | Bengaluru News – Times of India

BENGALURU: The bullock-cart protest organised by the Congress to oppose rising fuel prices and corner the BJP government threw city traffic out of gear on Monday.
Opposition leader Siddaramaiah and KPCC chief DK Shivakumar set out on bullock carts from their respective residences in Kumara Park and Sadashivanagar leading two teams of legislators. Congress functionaries and supporters followed them in a procession till Vidhana Soudha.
The procession that saw five bullock carts leaving from Shivakumar’s house and five from Siddaramaiah’s affected vehicular movement on Ballari Road. Health minister K Sudhakar, cooperation minister ST Somashekar and BJP MLA MP Renukacharya were among those who were stranded and arrived late at the assembly hall, while the house congregated at 11am.
“It would have been meaningful had the Congress launched such a protest during the UPA regime when the prices were high. Let them raise this issue in the house. I will reply,” said chief minister Basavaraj Bommai.
Traffic on Ballari Road — between Windsor Manor junction and Hebbal flyover — came to a standstill for over 30 minutes and moved slowly for the next half an hour. Passengers heading to Kempegowda International Airport were hit. So were many officegoers as Chalukya Circle, KR Circle, Hudson Circle, Mehkri Circle, Hebbal flyover and Anand Rao Circle witnessed bumper-to-bumper traffic.
Siddaramaiah, however, defended the move saying it is the duty of the opposition to voice the concerns of people. “Even a tall leader like Atal Bihari Vajpayee had taken out a bullock-cart rally in 1973 to protest price rise. The government has steeply hiked tax on fuel and must bring it down. We will move an adjournment motion in the house on Tuesday,” he said.
He said the government is lying about crude oil price as it’s citing that as the reason for the fuel price hike. Siddaramaiah asked BJP leaders to compare the prices when Manmohan Singh was the prime minister with the present rates, saying excise duty on diesel was Rs 3.45 per litre during the UPA regime and is Rs 31.74 at present. He said duty on petrol was Rs 9.21and is Rs 32.98 now. Calling the government a pickpocket, Shivakumar demanded the prices of LPG, petrol and diesel be brought down at least by Rs 150, Rs 35 and Rs 25, respectively.
Police stopped Congress leaders at the west gate of Vidhana Soudha and let them in with one bullock cart after heated arguments. The chaos even saw some Congress legislators, including Ajay Singh, fall from the bullock cart.
Ryots protest farm laws

About 5,000 farmers staged a sit-in on Sheshadri Road when they were stopped by police from taking out a march to Vidhana Soudha to protest farm laws. Under the aegis of Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha and Hasiru Sene, they launched the march from KSR Bengaluru City railway station. They were stopped near Maharani’s College. The road was blocked till 2.30pm, disrupting traffic.

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Sagar Biswas

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