Mysore/Mysuru: Even as BJP MLC A.H. Vishwanath has criticised the conduct of this Dasara without taking local leaders including those from the BJP into confidence, staunch party workers named by the State Government for different Boards and Corporations have claimed that Dasara has created history this time around. They heaped praises on Mysuru District Minister S.T. Somashekar for the success of the festivities.
Providing data to justify the successful conduct of the mega event, Zoo Authority of Karnataka (ZAK) Chairman M. Shivakumar said at a press conference organised at BJP Office on Sunday that from Sept. 26 to Oct. 8, 2,46,485 people visited the Mysuru Zoo and during the same period, over one lakh people visited the Karanji Lake Nature Park. This is a record, he claimed.
Claiming that the record number of visitors to the Zoo and Karanji Lake was a testimony to the fact that Dasara was indeed celebrated on a grand scale and the credit must go to the Minister, he said. “This was not a Dasara that was conducted in an autocratic manner but it was held after consultations with local leaders,” they said.
For the record, Vishwanath had said that Dasara could have been better organised and handled and the celebration was haphazard as local leaders were not taken into confidence. As such, there were several events that were mismanaged leading to outrage, the MLC had claimed.
Claim of history being created
Eager to defend the Minister, Shivakumar said that it would not be an exaggeration if stated that this Dasara created history after two years of pandemic. “Over 15 lakh people saw the Jumboo Savari from the Mysore Palace to Bannimantap, and the hotel industry has generated a business of over Rs. 200 crore and all the allied businesses have raked in a revenue of Rs. 700 crore to Rs. 800 crore,” he claimed.
Chairman of Karnataka Exhibition Authority Mirle Srinivasa Gowda said that a record number of tourists are visiting the Dasara exhibition and on an average, over 40,000 to 50,000 footfalls are recorded on a daily basis.
When reporters questioned him that the Exhibition Grounds lacked even basic facilities for visitors, he said, “Lapses are bound to happen when lakhs of visitors come to a particular place and it is a common thing. Many issues of facilities have been addressed and the number of toilets has been increased,” he added.
All MLAs, MP invited
Coming back to the topic of BJP’s own MLC Vishwanath’s comments about unilateral decisions taken by Minister Somashekar, Shivakumar said that the MLC would have commented in his personal capacity.
“Vishwanath is a senior member of the party and he could have brought the issues, if any, to the notice of the Minister before the celebrations or while at least when the Dasara was on. Now there is no point in speaking after the festival,” he said.
“All the MLAs and the MP were taken into confidence and everyone was invited for meetings where suggestions were aired and accepted. No one has spoken against the conduct of Dasara till now and the tourists are happy. The credit must go to the District Minister and the District Administration,” Mirle Srinivasa Gowda added.