Day after Karnataka govt ban, Congress postpones its Mekedatu padayatra
The Karnataka Congress on Thursday decided to postpone its 10-day Mekedatu padayatra (foot march), a day after the state government, pulled up by the high court, ordered an immediate ban on the opposition party's protest march which was taking place despite a massive surge in the state's daily Covid-19 cases.
The decision was taken after party leaders participating in the march, including Karnataka Congress chief DK Shivakumar and former chief minister Siddaramaiah, held a meeting in Ramanagara to discuss the future course of the agitation, said news agency ANI.
Earlier, the fifth day of the Congress' padayatra began with Shivakumar, who is spearheading the protest, tweeting, “Day 5 of #Mekedatu Padyatra begins- with prayers and seeking blessings to win this historic fight. #NammaNeeruNammaHakku (our water, our right).”
The party launched the protest on January 9 in Ramanagara, even as the state witnessed a rise in its fresh Covid-19 infections. Shivakumar himself came under fire from the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for not wearing mask, as well as for refusing to undergo testing for the virus.
The local police have registered at least three FIRs against the politician and several Congress leaders, as well as others, for allegedly violating coronavirus-related protocols.
Meanwhile, the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), Bengaluru's civic body, cancelled permission for an event which was scheduled to take place in the state capital on January 19 to mark the end of the Mekedatu padayatra, reported ANI.
On Wednesday, Karnataka logged 21,390 new cases of the viral illness, while 10 more patients succumbed due to it, a health department bulletin showed. There were 874 recoveries as well, as per the bulletin. With this, the cumulative infection tally stands at 3,099,519 including 38,389 deaths.
Bengaluru alone accounted for 15,617 fresh infections and six-related fatalities.