Against the backdrop of BJP celebrating one year in Karnataka comes the protest by Congress leaders Siddaramaiah and DK Shivakumar in the state. As part of the Speak Up for Democracy nation-wide protests by the party, leaders stepped onto the streets only to be detained mere hours later.
The party leaders and workers were stopped from proceeding to the Raj Bhavan where they planned a peaceful protest. The police arrived and detained the leaders.
DK Shivakumar and Siddaramaiah detained
BJP celebrated one year in power in Karnataka. CM Yediyurappa also made an appeal to people to support the party for the rest of the term. In the background, something else seemed to be afoot in the state.
The Congress has been alleging that BJP is responsible for the party rifts and upsetting opposition in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan. Therefore, the party has launched a nation-wide campaign, 'Speak Up for Democracy' to protest the ruling party's methods. Karnataka's Congress leaders including Siddaramaiah and DK Shivakumar joined the protest.
The plan was to reach Raj Bhavan in the city for a peaceful protest, however, the party was stopped midway by the police who detained leaders including — Siddaramaiah and DK Shivakumar.
Suvarna news captured Siddaramaiah being led away by the police on camera, who sat down in the middle of the road in protest even as the police arrived. They were stopped at Indian Express Circle in Bengaluru. The police brought two BMTC buses to lead them away and didn't allow them to proceed threatening arrest.
DK Shivakumar the Congress party President in Karnataka was quoted by TV9 Kannada: "They're not allowing us to proceed and are threatening to arrest us." Siddaramaiah was quoted as saying, "They were planning to conduct a peaceful protest before Raj Bhavan due to Operation Lotus." He proceeded to speak about how Yediyurappa toppled the elected government in Karnataka to become the CM. He went on to call the party, "undemocratic."
While leaders insisted that the protest will continue, there has been a huge backlash from the citizens about not following social distancing norms and holding such large gatherings at a time of a global pandemic.