New Delhi: Amid rise in COVID-19 cases, Karnataka Congress on Thursday announced to postpone its 10-day-long Mekedatu Padayatra in the state.
The development comes after several ministers including former Union Minister Veerappa Moily, senior Congress leader Mallajamma and former minister and Congress MLA Shivashankara Reddy who participated in the ‘padayatra’ turned COVID positive.
The decision to suspend the 10-day padayatra was taken following a meeting at the Ramanagara party office where the party leaders met to decide the future course of action regarding Mekedatu Padayatra in wake of the cancellation of permission for the padayatra’s final event in Bengaluru and the High Court’s Observation. The meeting was attended by senior leaders Siddaramaiah and DK Shivakumar.
The padayatra began on January 9 and was scheduled to conclude at Basavanagudi in Bengaluru on January 19.
Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Thursday appealed to Congress leaders Siddaramaiah and D K Shivakumar to call off their ongoing padayatra demanding implementation of Mekedatu project across river Cauvery.
The Chief Minister’s appeal comes a day after the government came under fire from the state High Court and party legislators had prohibited inter-district and intra- district (within Ramanagara) movement of vehicles and persons for participating in the padayatra, with immediate effect.
Police have already filed four FIRs against Congress leaders including Shivakumar and Siddaramaiah, for taking out the march defying COVID-19 curbs.
The Karnataka High Court on Wednesday pulled up the ruling BJP government in the state for its inaction and questioned the state government as to why it allowed the Congress’ padayatra, which is being held in violation of its COVID curbs, and why no appropriate action was taken by the authorities to restrain the march.