The State Congress Unit which appears to be determined to hold its much publicized ‘Padayatra’ for implementing the Mekedatu project, has even challenged the BJP government to prevent it, if it can.
After Home Minister Araga Jnanendra cautioned the Congress of taking tough action if the party launches the campaign during Covid pandemic, KPCC President D. K. Shivakumar has dared him to stop the event.
Replying to the warning, Shivakumar said that the Padayatra has been planned for the water and in the interest of the people of the State. “ The Home Minister will have to take a rebirth in order to prevent Congress from going ahead with its programme”, he remarked.
Shivakumar asserted that let the government arrest anybody, including himself, Siddaramaiah or any MLA of the Congress.
“ We indeed will follow Covid protocols. But I am wondering how Covid protocols apply only to Congress. Why was the same yardstick not used when hundreds of people gathered at the banquet hall of Vidhana Soudha during the oath taking ceremony of newly elected MLCs. Why the Government was silent, and why the Home Minister did not take any action”, he charged.
He said that he is not against taking oaths of the newly elected MLC as they have been chosen by the people.
However if the government had real concern about the health of people, then it should have held oath taking events virtually.
He said when the government itself has said that it has ordered the banning of all major public events to prevent the spreading of Covid, then how the government gave permission to oath taking events.
Shivakumar said that the party cannot be scared with such hollow warnings. “ I am even ready to go to jail for the event. Hundreds of people will surely join for the Padayatra irrespective of their party affiliations”, he claimed.
Shivakumar said that he has been into politics for nearly four decades, therefore, he has enough political experience. The BJP government cannot scare him or his party leaders.
He said that if the BJP government had implemented the Mekedatu project, then there was no need for the Congress to launch agitation.
He said that BJP cannot have two sets of rules for Covid; one its own programmes and another for opposition parties.
Shivakumar said that his party will also be waiting for the reply of Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on this matter as he has not said anything on the matter so far.
It may be noted that the Congress has announced to launch a Padayatra titled ‘Neerigagi Nade (Walk for Water) to demand implementation of the Mekedatu project..
The 10-day Padayatra to start from January 9 from Mekedatu is in Ramnagar district.
The first five days will be spent in rural areas and remaining in urban areas. The Yatra will commence from Mekedatu and will cover Kanakapura, Ramnagar, Kengeri, Nayamdalli to reach Bengaluru city.
The entire stretch of 160 kilometers will be covered in ten days, according to the Congress sources.