Mekedatu padayatra not end, but start of more stirs: Congress

“Despite threats like issuing notices and filing of FIRs, the people of the state walked with us, making the event a historical one.

Published: 04th March 2022 06:05 AM  |   Last Updated: 04th March 2022 06:05 AM   |  A+A-

Congress General Secretary Randeep Singh Surjewala, KPCC chief DK Shivakumar and CLP leader Siddaramaiah at the padayatra in Bengaluru on Thursday | shriram bn

By Express News Service

BENGALURU: The Mekedatu padayatra, organised by the state Congress unit to demand implementation of the drinking water project, culminated in Bengaluru, even as the party leaders vowed to launch similar movements for implementation of various other projects in different parts of the state.

The ‘Namma Neeru, Namma Hakku’ (our water, our right) padayatra, which started on January 9 from Kanakapura, had to be abruptly stopped four days later, amidst the rising number of Covid-19 cases. It resumed from Ramanagara on February 27 and culminated at the National College Grounds in Basavanagudi on Thursday evening, where the leaders declared that “it is not the end, but the beginning”.

KPCC president D K Shivakumar criticised the BJP government, accusing it of resorting to arm-twisting tactics to stop the padayatra and alleged that calls were made from the Chief Minister’s Office to film personalities, threatening them to not take part in the rally.

“Despite threats like issuing notices and filing of FIRs, the people of the state walked with us, making the event a historical one. This is not the end, as we have decided to launch similar movements to seek implementation of various projects in the interest of the people in Kittur Karnataka, Kalyana Karnataka, Karavali and Malnad regions.”

Admitting that the padayatra had affected traffic in Bengaluru city for three days, Shivakumar added that the implementation of the project will change the lives of people for decades to come. Opposition leader Siddaramaiah attacked the BJP and JDS for making light comments about the padayatra. “As a matter of fact, the Mekedatu project will also benefit Tamil Nadu, as the water used to generate 400 MW electricity will flow to that state.

The balancing reservoir will help Karnataka save 67.14 tmcft of water, which can be used to supply drinking water to Bengaluru, where 30 per cent of the population does not have access to Cauvery water,” he said. Congress General Secretary Randeep Singh Surjewala alleged that the ‘double engine’ government had cheated the people of Karnataka and assured that the first thing Congress will do is implement the project if voted back to power. 


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