Karnataka chief minister HD Kumaraswamy’s swearing-in ceremony at Vidhana Soudha may have seen a galaxy of non-BJP leaders, but not all guests seemed happy on the occasion. Among them was West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee.
#WATCH: West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee reprimands DIG Neelamani Raju as she came to Karnataka Vidhana Soudha for oath taking ceremony because reportedly had to walk a few metres, also expressed discontentment to HD Deve Gowda & HD Kumaraswamy. #Bengaluru pic.twitter.com/WZ2n0QVE9b
— ANI (@ANI) May 23, 2018
Initially, the onlookers were perplexed when they saw Banerjee gesturing to Karnataka director-general of police, who was near the stage. It later came to light that the TMC chief was asked by the Bengaluru police to “get off her car and walk a short distance” from the gate to the podium because of heavy flow of VVIP vehicles, several of them with full security detail.
Bengaluru traffic beats every city in the country. We walked to the swearing-in venue. Beautiful weather made up for it though. pic.twitter.com/PT9nauyWuk
— Raghav Chadha (@raghav_chadha) May 23, 2018
Only one of the four gates of the Vidhana Soudha compound had been opened because of security reasons, a report said. According to news agency ANI, Banerjee also expressed her discontentment to JD(S) supremo HD Deve Gowda and his son Kumaraswamy. A senior police officer in the city traffic police told The New Indian Express, “There were 18-20 convoys and it was crazy managing them. Firstly, none of them were entitled to zero-traffic, except for the Governor and the new Chief Minister. Then, convoys were coming from various directions at the same time and there was no chance for the police to ensure free movement for all of them. Many of the convoys were stuck in between other vehicles. We were not in a position to do anything about it and it was not unexpected too.” Besides Banerjee’s car, the convoys of Andhra Pradesh chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu, Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati and a few others were also stuck in the traffic. AAP spokesperson Raghav Chadha posted a picture of Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal walking to the venue of swearing-in ceremony on a rain-splattered day.
As there was VVIP movement especially on the International Airport Road (Bellary Road) and Old Airport Road, commuters were stranded on the streets linking the main thoroughfares too. Besides, motorists had a tough time as they were stuck in the traffic gridlocks in the late afternoon, as thousands of people converged on Vidhana Soudha.
According to a report in Deccan Herald, thousands of Kumaraswamy’s supporters who gathered before the Vidhana Soudha took shelters under the chairs and flex banners. Many also stayed below the shades of the Soudha gate and metro station, while a few also waited underneath the trees at the High Court for the rain to stop.