BREAKING NEWS: KPCC President DK Shivakumar and Ex-CM Siddaramaiah lead Karnataka Congress ‘symbolic protest’ against state and central BJP governments today in Bengaluru

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BENGALURU: Karnataka Congress party today staged a ‘symbolic protest’ against the central and state BJP governments for amending the APMC Act and for the mismanagement of Covid-19 crisis in the state and at national level. The protest was headed by KPCC President DK Shivakumar and opposition leader and former chief minister Siddaramaih in front of Vidhana Soudha at Gandhi Statue. The police denied the permission due to Coronavirus norms as it would be illegal to assemble people. However, Karnataka Congress sat on a ‘dharna’ and continued with their protest. Karnataka Congress protest was against the BJP government mainly for  amending of the APMC act, proposed nominations to gram panchayats by postponing elections and plans to amend labour laws, among other issues. 


A day before, on Tuesday, in a series of tweets opposition leader Siddaramaiah had lambasted the state and union BJP governments on a number of issues. The decision to hold the protest was arrived at the Congress Legislature Party meeting, chaired by CLP and opposition leader Siddaramaiah.


Congress legislature party meeting on Tuesday

It was decided to hold the protest at 11 am today in front of Gandhi statue at the premises of Vidhana Soudha, the seat of the state secretariat and legislature here, Siddaramaiah”s office said in a statement. The meeting decided to petition the Governor and the State Election Commission in this regard in the days to come and fix appointments with them for the same. It was also decided to hold protests against the “wrong decisions” of the state and central government, with regard to handling of the COVID-19 crisis, at district and taluk level. Siddaramaiah, in his remarks at the CLP meeting, hit out at both the central and state governments over their handling of the COVID-19 pandemic and the financial packages announced.

He had asked party legislators to explain to the people, the “failures” of the government. Alleging that there was a conspiracy to nominate BJP workers as members to panchayats without holding elections because of COVID-19, the former Chief Minister said Congress should urge the government to continue with the current members and hold elections after six months. “There is “Tughlaq Darbar” in the state, there is corruption. Modi had criticised our government (Congress) as 10 per cent government. He should now say Yediyurappa government is what per cent,” Siddaramaiah said.

Ex-CM Siddaramaiah speaking in Congress legislature party meet on Tuesday

Congress will stage protests against amendments to the APMC act, labour laws and nominations to panchayats, he had told. Despite objections from opposition parties, the government recently came out with an ordinance that amended the laws to curtail the powers of the Agricultural Produce Market Committees (APMC). While the government said it was aimed at bringing in reforms to facilitate market access for farmers, opposition parties have vehemently opposed it, alleging that it would dilute the APMC laws and affect farmers” interests. Also, the government is reportedly mulling over an ordinance relaxing labour laws in line with other BJP ruled states, like extension in work hours, among other things.

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