Farm laws: Congress leaders detained after trying to lay siege to Raj Bhavan in Bengaluru
Bengaluru, Jan 20: Senior Congress leaders Siddaramaiah and DK Shivakumar were detained along with scores of others when they attempted to proceed to Raj Bhavan to lay siege to it on Wednesday protesting the contentious farm laws of the Centre.
Several congress workers and farmers from across the state descended on the city following a call given the state unit of the national party to lay siege to Raj Bhavan in protest against the new agri laws and condemn the hike in fuel prices.
Raising slogans, holding the party flag, banners and posters, the protesters took out a march from Freedom Park to the Governor's official residence, but were stopped on the way by police.
Speaking to reporters from inside a police vehicle in which he was taken away from the protest site, Siddaramaiah said, "The Yediyurappa government and the police are trying to disrupt the peaceful protests, which I strongly condemn."
He hit out at the BJP saying the saffron party never had faith in the democratic setup. Elaborate security arrangements were made in view of the anti-farmers law protests and roads barricaded. Commuters faced a harrowing time due to traffic snarls caused by agitations at various places.
Earlier in the day, Congress state chief DK Shivakumar accused the state government of stopping the protesters from reaching the state capital.
"I have been receiving calls saying the police have been stopping farmers and Congress workers since last night," Shivakumar alleged in a video message.
He appealed to those who were prevented from proceeding to the city, to hold protest by blocking the highways. "Reach the Bengaluru Railway station and we all shall go and lay siege to the Raj Bhavan," he added.
Meanwhile, the BJP ridiculed the protests and alleged that the Congress, which had been responsible for the farmers' suicide throughout its regime, was staging a drama by opposing the pro-farmer laws introduced by the Centre. "Farmer suicides would not have escalated if you had been pro-farmer, isn't it?" the saffron party asked in a tweet.