Mekedatu Padayatra may not converge in Bengaluru for mega rally

The soaring Covid positivity rate in the state, especially in Bengaluru, is seen as one of the major reasons for the administration to an act in a stricter manner. 

Published: 12th January 2022 06:03 AM  |   Last Updated: 12th January 2022 06:03 AM   |  A+A-

Congress workers and others take part in the Mekedatu padayatra on Monday which was launched by the party at Cauvery Sangama in Kanakapura taluk of Ramanagara district, on Sunday

Express News Service

BENGALURU: The Congress’ Mekedatu padayatra, led by KPCC president D K Shivakumar, which kicked off on Sunday from the Cauvery Sangama in Kanakapura, is unlikely to convene for its mega rally scheduled at the National College Grounds here on January 19, after Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Tuesday instructed officials to take stringent action against anyone holding public conventions.

The CM’s decision may become a stumbling block for the padayatra as it reaches either Bidadi or Kengeri on the outskirts of Bengaluru on Friday or Saturday, with the administration swinging into action, sources said. The official machinery in Bengaluru is already prepared with a plan to tackle any eventuality and get everyone — from ordinary people to political leaders — adhere to Covid-19 protocols issued by the government, they added.

The soaring Covid positivity rate in the state, especially in Bengaluru, is seen as one of the major reasons for the administration to an act in a stricter manner. Already, about 50 Congress leaders, including Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, Mallikarjuna Kharge, former CM Siddaramaiah and D K Shivakumar have been booked for violating norms.

More leaders might be booked in the coming days. “We have booked cases under the Disaster Management Act, 2005, and the Karnataka Epidemic Diseases Act, 2020, and the offences are non-bailable,” warned Ramanagara district in-charge minister Dr C N Ashwath Narayan on Tuesday, while briefing reporters at Janapada Loka.

If the padayatra is stopped midway, it would have covered about 90 km of the scheduled 125 km, which the Congress may claim as their mission being half-accomplished. Since January 15 is Sankranthi, many participants may turn back home the previous day itself, Congress sources told TNIE.


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