Amid celebration by followers of BJP leaders who have been inducted into the new Cabinet, followers of MLAs who missed out on berths took to the streets in Haveri, Hubballi and Dharwad on Wednesday and blocked roads for some time.
While in Haveri supporters of three-time MLA Nehru Olekar blocked the Hosamani Siddappa Circle in protest against their leader being left out, supporters of two-time MLA Arvind Bellad blocked Jubilee Circle in Dharwad for some time.
Staging a demonstration in Haveri, BJP leaders and followers of Nehru Olekar registered their protest by conducting Urulu Seve. They blocked the road and raised slogans against the party leaders for not considering Mr. Olekar.
Several of them, including Shrikanth Pujar and Manjunath Itagi, participated in the Urulu Seve at the circle saying that their leader has been meted out injustice. They said that a backward community leader who has been elected thrice to the Assembly has been neglected during Cabinet formation. BJP leaders Babusab Momingar, Lalita Gundenahalli, Girish Tuppad, Ratna Bhimakkanavar, Jagadish Malagod and several others took part in the agitation.
Shettar, Joshi blamed
In Dharwad district, where the former Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar has opted out of the Ministerial race, supporters of Mr. Arvind Bellad took to the streets in Dharwad and Hubballi to register their protest against their leader not being inducted in the new Cabinet. And, they blamed senior leaders of the district, including the former Chief Minister [Jagadish Shettar] and Union Minister Pralhad Joshi for non-inclusion.
Mr. Arvind Bellad, a two-time MLA, was earlier projected by a section of the media as one among those in the race for the Chief Minister’s post and he has now failed to even make it to the Cabinet. However, in his place Shankar Patil Munenakoppa, who belongs to the same community as that of Mr. Bellad (Lingayat Panchamasali), has been made a Minister. This naturally irked Mr. Bellad’s supporters who blocked the road at Jubilee Circle in Dharwad on Wednesday and raised slogans condemning the party’s decision not to consider Mr. Bellad for a Ministerial berth. The protestors blamed senior leaders of the district for Mr. Bellad missing the bus.
When the protestors tried to continue the road blockade for some more time, the police intervened to disperse the crowd. Some of them entered into an altercation with the police but subsequently senior police officials pacified them and cleared the road. A demonstration was held by Mr. Bellad’s supporters in Hubballi too.
Some of the BJP workers led by BJP Raita Morcha president Mahadevappa Pujari and others held a press conference in Hubballi blaming Mr. Jagadish Shettar and Mr. Pralhad Joshi for Mr. Bellad not being made a Minister. They said that these leaders were directly responsible for Mr. Bellard not becoming a Minister.
“Mr. Shettar and Mr Joshi are responsible for Mr. Bellad not getting a Ministerial berth. They are apprehensive that if Mr. Bellad becomes a Minister, then they would be sidelined. We condemn this and will soon block the national highway to register our protest. We will also protest in front of the residence of Mr. Shettar and Mr. Joshi,” he said.
Subsequently, these BJP members, along with several others, staged a demonstration at the landmark Kittur Chennamma Circle for some time. They demanded that Mr. Bellad be made a Minister.