Mandya, September 28: Over 1,600 students were made to wait several hours for Housing Minister M.H. Ambareesh to inaugurate three government functions organised here on Friday.
Among them, nearly 300 high school girls were forced to sit on the ground for three hours at Sri Nalwadi Krishnaraja Wadiyar Kalamandir to take part in the World Tourism Day celebrations. Six hundred students waited for him for over an hour at the Government College for Women (GCW), and 500 students at the Government College for Boys waited for the Minister for two hours.
Mr. Ambareesh was the chief guest at all three functions, but his speeches lasted for less than 10 minutes. They were government programmes, but his supporters were seen occupying the stages at all three functions.
The inauguration of ‘World Tourism Day’ celebrations was scheduled for 11 a.m. Hundreds of school students rushed to the venue at 10 a.m. Three hundred students were forced to sit on the ground, owing to a lack of chairs; by 12.30 p.m., several students were exhausted. They told presspersons that their teachers and government officials were not even allowing them to go to the toilet or drink water.
As the function got delayed, the officials kept on announcing that Mr. Ambareesh would arrive shortly.
Their ordeal came to an end only when The Hindu brought the issue to the notice of Deputy Commissioner B.N. Krishnaiah, who instructed officials to allow the students to leave.
Students at the GCW suffered a similar fate. The Minister was supposed to attend by 11.30 a.m., but Mr. Ambareesh was late by over an hour. In his crisp speech, he promised to develop the college. Mr. Krishnaiah and the Mandya Zilla Panchayat Chief Executive Officer P.C. Jayanna also attended the function, but did not share the dais as their names were not printed in the invitation. However, hotelier Amaravathi Chandrashekar and president of the Ambareesh Fans’ Association Belur Somashekar were mentioned in the invitation.
They waited near the main entrance of the college until Mr. Ambareesh left.
The Minister was two hours late for the inauguration of the sports and cultural programmes at the Government College for Boys off the Bangalore-Mysore Highway.