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Covid: Cong says won't stop padayatra for Mekedatu project

Bengaluru, Jan 5 (IANS) Karnataka Congress President D. K. Shivakumar on Wednesday 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 Covid wave.

"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 lockdown. This is 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 lockdown," he stated.

The government is claiming that there is a spike of 3,000 Covid cases in a single day. If the government releases their list, Congress would go to them and give them support and boost their morale. The BJP had stated that there is no scope for rallies and protests. "Ours is a walk for the water. We will simply walk for water," he maintained.

He stated that "our's is not a protest. It's just a submission. The government has issued a notice prohibiting protest rallies. But, we are not protesting, conducting a rally. We will walk, can't anyone walk on roads?"

He said it is not tenable to impose a lockdown in the state. The business class is already suffering. This is unnecessary, he opined.

"Cases have to be lodged against Health Minister K. Sudhakar for violating norms during the first Covid wave. Cases should be lodged against minister Sriramulu and former Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa for attending marriage functions. Cases have to be lodged against Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai and the central ministers who took part in the Janasheervada Yatra organized by the BJP. Instead, they have sent a warrant to me," Shivakumar 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.