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Karnataka: Congress suspends Mekedatu padayatra after High Court slammed state govt for not stopping “super spread” event and BBMP cancelled permission

The 10 day padayatra with the theme ‘Our water, Our right' was launched on January 9 and was scheduled to culminate at Basavanagudi in Bengaluru on January 19.

The Bangalore Municipal Corporation on Thursday cancelled the permission to Congress for the final event of Mekedatu Padayatra scheduled on January 19. This is after the High Court slammed the Congress party for the ‘super spreader’ event and had also slammed the Karnataka Government under CM Basavaraj Bommai for taking no action to stop the march. Subsequently, today the party decided to suspend its Padayatra program in the state for the time being.

The Karnataka High Court had questioned the state govt for its inability to stop the padayatra amid the third wave of Covid-19. The court had asked whether the state Government and its authorities were ‘helpless and totally incompetent’ to stop the event when no permission was granted, and the Covid-19 guidelines prohibit such rallies and gatherings.

The Padayatra was scheduled to enter Bengaluru tomorrow, but now that has been cancelled as the BBMP cancelled the permission given for the same. After that, the party call-off the program after growing criticism over the event that has turned into a super spreader event.

“We have been successful in the last five days. We were supposed to end the padayatra in Bengaluru. Because of the third wave we have to postpone it for now,” former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah informed. He added that the party will resume the event after the third wave is over.

Earlier today, CM Basavaraj Bommai had also written to Siddaramaiah and state Congress chief DK Shivakumar, urging them to call off the program. Bommani assured them that the Mekedatu dam project on the river Cauvery is on track, the demand of the padayatra.

The Congress party leaders who attended the padayatra already for four days were seen blatantly violating the COVID norms. Several participants of the padayatra were also reported COVID positive. Congress member and Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge today revealed his COVID positive report after he attended the opening event of the Mekedatu padayatra.

Kharge is fully vaccinated and asymptomatic, according to a statement issued by his secretary. “He is, however, not yet eligible for a booster shot”, said the statement. Two days ago, an official complaint was lodged against Congress chief DK Shivakumar for refusing to undergo a COVID-19 test. He was found coughing publicly while leading the padayatra protest against the Mekedatu dam.

The Congress leader had also defended the padayatra on multiple occasions and had allegedly said that he is perfectly healthy and does not need any test. The Congress party leaders called the ban, a politically motivated move of the ruling BJP in the state.

The 10-day padayatra with the theme ‘Our water, Our right’ was launched on January 9 at the Sangama, the confluence of Cauvery and Arkavathi rivers at Kanakapura in Ramanagara district. The march from Mekedatu to Bengaluru, passing through Kanakapura, Ramanagara and Bidadi, was scheduled to culminate at Basavanagudi in Bengaluru on January 19.

The shocking visuals of the padayatra emerged on Sunday where a large group were seen attending the padayatra without wearing masks or observing social distances. The Bommai Government has also banned the movement of vehicles to and from Ramanagar to avoid a state-wide health calamity. Several FIRs have already been filed against several Congress leaders for violation of Covid-19 norms.

The state government has also imposed a curfew on weekends and restricted public gatherings to fight the surge in COVID-19 cases, till January 19. It has also imposed a night curfew, and prohibited all rallies, dharnas and protests, among others. Reporting yet another spike, Karnataka on Wednesday has registered 21,390 fresh cases of COVID-19 and 10 fatalities, taking the tally to 30,99,519 and the death toll to 38,389. The total number of active cases across the state is now 93,099.

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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