Advertisement
trendingNowenglish2427605

Karnataka Congress temporarily calls off Mekedatu padayatra due to Covid-19 spread

Congress leader Siddaramaiah said, "So we have decided to temporarily halt this padayatra here. Once the third wave declines and Covid-19 rules are relaxed, we will continue the remaining distance of the padayatra from Ramanagara." 

Karnataka Congress temporarily calls off Mekedatu padayatra due to Covid-19 spread Pic Courtesy: ANI

New Delhi: Amid an alarming Covid-19 surge, Karnataka Congress on Thursday (January 13) temporarily suspended its Mekedatu padayatra. 

Leader of Opposition in the state Assembly Siddaramaiah asserted the decision was not taken in the wake of the ruling BJP government in the state registering cases against Congress leaders or banning the yatra but due to Covid-19 concerns and in the interest of public health, PTI reported. He added that they will continue their march once the Covid third wave subsides and the restrictions are relaxed.

Addressing reporters after meeting with party leaders and legislators, Siddaramaiah said, "We are concerned about the health of the people in Karnataka, it is our responsibility to see to it that the Covid doesn't spread because of our padayatra, despite taking all the necessary measures we had concerns, so we discussed today. We don't want people to feel that we are responsible for worsening Covid situation.”

Further, the senior Congress leader said that their padayatra was to reach Bengaluru by Friday evening, which has been reporting high coronavirus cases. "...So we have decided to temporarily halt this padayatra here. Once the third wave declines and Covid-19 rules are relaxed, we will continue the remaining distance of the padayatra from Ramanagara," he added. 

The Karnataka Congress’ step comes after several leaders including Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge, who had attended the inaugural of the Mekedatu padayatra on January 9, have tested positive for Covid-19. The 10-day long march demanding implementation of Mekedatu project was scheduled to conclude at Basavanagudi in Bengaluru on January 19.

On Wednesday, the Karnataka High Court had questioned the state government as to why it allowed the Congress' padayatra, which is being held flouting Covid curbs, and asked why no appropriate action was taken to restrain the yatra.

Karnataka CM’s appeal

Earlier today, Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai urged to Congress leaders Siddaramaiah and D K Shivakumar to call off their ongoing padyatra. "I'm ready to take all the necessary measures for the implementation of the Mekedatu project, taking all of you into confidence," Bommai said in a press statement. 

The government on Wednesday had prohibited inter-district and intra- district (within Ramanagara) movement of vehicles and persons for participating in the padayatra. 

(With PTI inputs)

Live TV