Ramanagara: JD (S) Youth Wing State President Nikhil Kumaraswamy led a sit-in protest on the Tenlane Bengaluru-Mysuru Expressway on Thursday March 16 to condemn the action of the National Highways Authority of India collecting toll on the Expressway.
At this time, the Activists and Leaders, including Magadi JD (S) MLA Manjunath, were taken into custody by the Police and later released. The JD (S) Activists led by Nikhil Kumaraswamy protested near Kanaminike Toll Plaza on the outskirts of Ramanagara. Besides, they sat in the middle of the Highway and insisted that the officials of the National Highways Authority come to the place. At this time, Nikhil Kumaraswamy, who spoke to the officials of the National Highways Authority of India over the phone, took them to task.
Nikhil alleged that NHAI is collecting toll without road. Each vehicle should pay Rs. 135 if they have FASTag. If they don’t have a FASTag, people have to pay double. There should be a hospital within 50 kms. There is no toilet on the Highway. Thus, non-partisan protest is being conducted against toll collection. Nikhil demanded that the National Authority should immediately stop the toll collection, fix the basic problems first, and then collect the toll. Hundreds of JD (S) workers and Leaders including Magadi MLA A. Manjunath participated in the protest.
Reacting to the protest Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai said that everyone knows that the National Highway is a toll road. People who are protesting like this are not ordinary people, and they are deliberately politicising this issue. Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) President D. K. Shivakumar is doing politics in this. We are working according to law. We have allowed toll-free traffic on the service road.He added that they are protesting for no reason.
On Wednesday March 15 workers of Congress and pro-Kannada organisations also protested against the high toll rate of Bengaluru – Mysuru Expressway. They reached in front of the toll plaza near Seshagirihalli in Bidadi and blocked the road by displaying a black flag. Later, they raised slogans against the BJP Government and vented his anger.