New Delhi: The Congress’ padayatra (protest rally) in Karnataka, demanding speedy implementation of the Mekedatu project across the Cauvery river has entered its second day. The Congress leaders will march 16 km on Monday to reach Kanakapura city by night.
The 10-day padayatra is being led by state Congress President DK Shivakumar. Despite Covid-19 restrictions and curfew imposed by the Karnataka government, thousands are participating in the padayatra, raising concerns over the rapid spread of the virus. Congress has announced that no matter what, the party would continue the padayatra.
On Sunday night, Shivakumar refused to undergo the Covid test after the completion of the first day of the protest march at his native place, Doddahalli. He took the health officer to task and said he is fit enough to walk 15 km since morning.
“It is shameful for Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai to indulge in such tactics to scuttle the padayatra. Let him (CM Bommai), Home Minister Araga Jnanendra and Health Minister K Sudhakar take Covid tests. I can carry Home Minister on my shoulder and walk. I know my rights. I will not get tested,” he said.
Opposition leader Siddaramaiah could not participate in the padayatra as he had a fever and went back to Bengaluru after the inauguration.
However, the march managed to evoke a tremendous response from the people of the state. Villagers en route gave a warm welcome to the Congress leaders and showered flowers on them as they walked through the villages.
TMC leader in Tamil Nadu Condemns padayatra
Tamil Manila Congress (TMC) President and former Union Minister G.K. Vasan on Monday condemned the ‘padayatra’ taken out by the Karnataka unit of the Congress for the construction of a dam across the Cauvery river at Mekedatu.
In a statement, Vasan — son of Congress leader late GK Moopanar — said that the DMK and Congress that are in an alliance in Tamil Nadu, should intervene and persuade the Karnataka unit to put an end to this ‘Padayatra’ for constructing a dam across Mekedatu.
(With inputs from IANS)