Angry ex-servicemen protest against Siddaramaiah's political speech

BENGALURU: Around 50 war veterans and ex-servicemen had gathered for the inauguration of the renovated War Memorial at the Brigade Road junction on Tuesday morning. They were invited by the state government and were assured that their pleas and grievances would be addressed by Chief Minister Siddaramaiah.

But they were disappointed and threatened to walk out of the event as their pleas were not heard. “First Mr Siddaramaiah, who enjoys zero traffic, comes 45 minutes late to the event, which was scheduled to start at 11 am. We had to wait for a long time as we had been asked to arrive at the venue by 10.30 am,” said one of the ex-servicemen.

“We were angry that instead of listening to our demands, Mr Siddaramaiah launched into a political speech. Other leaders, including Shantinagar MLA N.A. Haris, too spoke only about the Congress governments' fourth anniversary and its achievements. None of the politicians spoke about our problems,” he said.

Ex-serviceman K.D. Shelley said, “We do not have affiliations to any political party. We have gathered here as we were told that our grievances would be heard. But we hear only political speeches.”

They threatened to walk out of the venue when Mr Siddaramaiah's was making his speech and the media attention turned towards the protesting ex-servicemen. Mr Siddaramaiah, in a bid to pacify them, praised farmers and soldiers and shouted the slogan "Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan''.

A few Congressmen said that the ex-servicemen were protesting only in states that are ruled by non-BJP parties.

50 TenderSure roadsBefore cutting the ribbon at the war memorial, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah inaugurated six roads built under the TenderSURE project.

“Our government has earmarked Rs 700 crore for the development of 50 roads according to TenderSURE norms. Under Phase 1 and 2, thirteen roads were taken up for development, and of them, works on nine have been completed,” he said.

CM Siddaramaiah inspects the newly completed TenderSure project roads in Bengaluru on Tuesday. (Photo: DC)

He directed officials concerned to complete the remaining roads by December-end and lauded TenderSURE roads for giving prominence to pedestrians.

He said that Indira Canteens, which will serve food at subsidised rates, would be thrown open to the public in all the 198 wards of the BBMP by August 15.

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