Bengaluru: An angry West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who was caught in the city’s notorious traffic gridlock near the Vidhana Soudha on Wednesday afternoon sent her security into a tizzy after she decided to suddenly get down from her car at the Chalukya Circle and walk up to the Vidhana Soudha to participate in the swearing-in ceremony of the new Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy. On reaching Vidhana Soudha she pulled up the Director General and Inspector General of Police Neelmani Raju over poor traffic management and even reportedly complained to the JD(S) supremo H.D. Deve Gowda.
Sources, who didn’t wish to be named said that Ms Banerjee, who was hosted at the Kumara Krupa guest house, had left for the venue, which was less than a kilometre away well in time but her convoy had reportedly got stuck behind the convoys of Congress President Rahul Gandhi, his mother and former party president Sonia Gandhi and Governor Vajubhai Vala at the Chalukya Circle, where most of the VVIP convoys had merged en route to the Secretariat.
The WB Chief Minister lost her cool at the snail paced traffic and got out of her car much to the concern of her security personnel, who were under the supervision of an officer of the rank of assistant commissioner of police.
“The convoy of the Congress president was being led by the Special Protection Group, which has a very stringent protocol. Then there was the Governor’s convoy. There was a lot of traffic and a sudden heavy downpour between 3.30pm and 4pm worsened the chaos on the roads. There were more than 15 VIPs convoys yesterday," said an officer close to the developments.
“Some of them including the BSP leader and former Uttar Pradesh CM Mayawati's convoy were being escorted by commandos of the National Security Guard. At the Vidhana Soudha vehicles had piled up because there was not enough space for parking. This led to a cascading effect on the traffic," one officer said.
"The Department of Personnel & Administrative Reforms (DP&AR), which is responsible for protocol arrangement for the swearing in function, had issued 2,000 passes to special invitees and their vehicles. There was no place for the vehicles and most of the VIPs had to walk from the gate to the main staircase where the function was being held," said the officer. The City Police Commissioner T. Suneel Kumar has been asked to explain the poor traffic arrangement, which inconvenienced the VVIPs and left the host – the newly appointed CM – red faced.
On Thursday morning, DG&IGP Mrs Neelamani N Raju did explain to DG&IGP, that there was a miscommunication between the protocol officer accompanying the guest and the traffic police, who were managing VVIP movement at that point of time near Chalukya circle.
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