Bengaluru: An old Congress office in Karnataka was vandalized on Sunday by angry supporters of Qamar Ul Islam, who was sacked as Minister for Minority Welfare, Haj and Wakf Board.
“Our office at Kalburgi was ransacked by Islam’s supporters after they learnt he was dropped in the cabinet reshuffle,” a party leader told IANS here.
Kalburgi is about 650 km from Bengaluru in the state’s northern backward region.
Besides furniture, including tables and chairs, fans, coolers and office equipment were destroyed in the mob fury. A few policemen on duty caned the attackers to control the situation.
Terming Islam’s removal as unfortunate coming as it took place during the holy Ramadan month, hundreds of supporters held a protest in the town against the party leadership and Chief Minister Siddaramaiah after the evening namaz.
“I would like to know the reason for my removal as I have been loyal to the party and served the people for decades,” Islam told reporters at Kalburgi.
Similarly, supporters of Congress lawmaker Mallikayya Guttedar of Afzalpur in Kalburgi district set a state-run bus on fire to protest against the denial of a ministerial berth to him despite assurances.
Protest rallies were also taken out in Mandya and Mysuru districts in the statea¿s southern region for sacking Kannada rebel actor and Housing Minister M.H. Ambareesh and Revenue Minister V. Srinivasa Prasad.
In a related development, Baburao Chinchansoor blamed Congress leader in the Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge for his ouster from the ministry.
Apart from Islam, Ambareesh and Prasad, 11 other cabinet ministers – Shamnoor Shivashankarappa, Vinay Kumar Sorake, Satish Jarkiholi, Shivraj Tangadagi, S.R. Patil, Manohar Tahasildar, K. Abhaychandra Jain, Dinesh Gundu Rao, Kimmane Ratnakar and P.T. Parameshwar Naik were dropped.
In their place, 13 lawmakers were inducted into the 34-member ministry, nine with cabinet rank and four as ministers of state by Governor Vajubhai R. Vala at a simple ceremony at Raj Bhavan here.