Karnataka Congress President DK Shivakumar on Wednesday, January 5, announced that his party would not back off at any cost from the padayatra demanding speedy implementation of the Mekedatu project, just a day after the ruling BJP imposed new guidelines in the state to tackle the third wave of COVID-19 infections. The Congress party plans to organise a padayatra or walkathon from Mekedatu to Bengaluru from January 9 to 19 to demand the implementation of the Mekedatu project across the Cauvery river, which is being opposed by Tamil Nadu.
"It is not a padayatra. It is just a walk for water. There is no proposal to postpone it. We will follow guidelines and a team of 100 doctors is ready. The BJP government had invoked the Disaster Management Act against me, legislators. In contrast, BJP leaders have carried out protest marches, the Prime Minister is taking part in rallies," he maintained.
"This is not COVID-19 lockdown. This is a BJP curfew and BJP lockdown. It has been tough for BJP leaders to continue their politics in the state. The people are giving them tougher answers. So, conveniently they have imposed a lockdown," he stated.
â€śThe government is claiming that there is a spike of 3,000 COVID-19 cases in a single day. If the government releases their list, Congress would go to them and give them support and boost their morale,â€ť the Congress leader claimed.
Leader of Opposition Siddaramaiah also lent his support to the padayatra. He said only he and DK Shivakumar would walk if section 144 was imposed by the police to prevent large gatherings. â€śIn case more people are not allowed, we two will walk. What is wrong with that? Under Section 144, not more than five people can gather,â€ť he said.
The padayatra is scheduled between January 9 to 19. The ruling BJP is all set to take action if the Congress launches the programme in any form which is likely to lead to tension in the state.
With IANS inputs