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Amid Covid surge, Karnataka Congress launches Mekedatu ‘padayatra’

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Ramnagara, Jan 9 (IANS): The Congress launched its ambitious 10-day ‘padayatra’ on Sunday near Mekedatu sangama in Ramnagar district amid the curfew orders in Karnataka. Opposition leader in Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge inaugurated the programme by beating drums.

Thousands of Congress workers gathered at the spot to participate in the padayatra inauguration ceremony. The protest rally has been organised demanding speedy implementation of the Mekedatu project by the ruling BJP government in the state.

The Congress is claiming that the implementation of the project would help to solve the drinking water woes of Bengaluru city and surrounding areas. Neighboring Tamil Nadu is opposing the project. Ruling BJP is maintaining that the matter is before the Supreme Court and they are committed to implement the project.

The rally was led by Congress State President D.K. Shivakumar and Opposition leader Siddaramaiah. The villages en route were decorated and local Congress leaders extended warm welcome to their leaders, when the rally passed through.

The rally was attended by film artists, religious leaders and Congress senior leaders and legislators. Before the commencement of the rally, Shivakumar announced that they are ready to face any situation but they will continue with the padayatra.

The padayatra will reach Bengaluru after five days. Congress has planned to conduct protest rallies in all the Assembly segments of the capital city Bengaluru for another five days before congregating at Basavanagudi National College Grounds.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai is holding a meeting with cabinet colleagues on handling the situation as Congress has challenged the ruling BJP government and commenced the padayatra despite curfew orders.

CM Bommai is discussing initiating action against the Congress leaders and its implications and management of the situation in view of surge in Covid cases in the state, especially in Bengaluru.

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