Mysuru, October 18:- During the ‘Shun crackers, save environment’ campaign, MLA M K Somashekar and the cracker sellers indulged in a spat at J K Grounds on Wednesday.
MLA Somashekar led the rally in the city to create awareness regarding the effects of crackers on health and environment. The MLA led the march to JK Grounds and immersed the crackers in a bucket of water. This provoked the cracker sellers and ensued in a verbal spat between them and the MLA.
The cracker sellers questioned the government as to why they were given permission to sell crackers and why the MLA is now marching against the crackers at the time of the festival. This led to a verbal spat between the MLA and the traders. MLA Somashekar was staging a protest against the merchants at JK Grounds. Police visited the spot and brought the situation under control. Close aide of the MLA, Gunashekhar and a few merchants were detained by the police.
Vice president of Cracker Merchants’ Association of Mysuru Sharath said that the merchants were selling crackers with prior permission from the district administration and condemned the MLA for staging a protest against the cracker sellers. He said that the merchants would extend support if he conducts an awareness campaign.
“Lakhs of labourers at Sivakasi in Tamil Nadu depend on the sales of firecrackers. If the crackers are banned, where will they go for the livelihood? We are taking loans to sell crackers procured from Sivakasi. We too have concern towards the public and environment. We are selling soundless crackers and not the high decibel crackers. We have not bought any cracker from China,” he said.
-(SN, KS, NGB)