Mysuru: The Opposition BJP’s appeal to farmers and the public to ‘voluntarily observe a State-wide bandh’ today to demand the H.D. Kumaraswamy led new Congress-JD(S) coalition government to announce farm loan waiver, evoked poor response in the city as educational institutions, commercial establishments, business houses, cinema halls, petrol bunks, public offices and the like functioned as usual.
The BJP, which had initially given the bandh call on Friday last if Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy did not waive crop loans within 24 hours, later changed track saying it was only ‘supporting a voluntary bandh call’ given by the farmers.
However, BJP leaders and activists fanned out across the city to get support for the bandh.
MP Pratap Simha, accompanied by several local BJP leaders, gathered in front of KSRTC bus depot in Bannimantap early this morning to stop buses from moving out of the depot.
However, the Police prevented the MP from doing so. Pratap Simha was later taken into custody by the Police.
Meanwhile, the newly-elected Chamaraja Constituency MLA L. Nagendra along with several party activists converged at KSRTC Sub-urban bus stand and attempted to stop buses from plying. But the Police foiled their attempt by taking them into custody.
KR Constituency MLA S.A. Ramdas too joined the protest at city bus stand near K.R. Circle and along with the party workers tried to stop city buses from operating. The Police, however, thwarted their efforts by taking them away in a Police vehicle.
In another protest in support of the bandh, over a hundred BJP activists led by City BJP President Dr. B.H. Manjunath staged a demonstration at Gandhi Square.
Even as some of the activists were raising slogans demanding farm loan waiver, the rest of the activists attempted to forcibly close down shops and other commercial establishments in the vicinity, when they were taken into custody by the Police, who were present in large numbers in the wake of bandh call.
Within minutes of Police vehicle carrying BJP workers left the protest venue, another group of BJP workers led by Corproator M.V. Ramprasad arrived at Gandhi Square and attempted to close down shops.
However, the Police foiled their plans, it is learnt.
The bandh had little impact on normal life in the city as KSRTC, private buses and other public vehicles plied as usual. There were no untoward incidents reported from any part of the city.
BJP leaders taken into custody
Mysuru-Kodagu MP Pratap Simha along with BJP workers staging a protest at the KSRTC depot in Bannimantap this morning to block buses from moving out of the depot as part of the bandh call. They were later taken into Police custody. Picture right shows MLA S.A. Ramdas, who staged a protest at the city bus stand, being frisked away by the Police. All these BJP leaders were taken to CAR grounds where they were released later.