Karnataka Congress chief D. K. Shivakumar on Saturday urged the ruling BJP to issue a government notification and start land acquisition for the Mekedatu project, which has become a flash point between the Karnataka and Tamil Nadu governments.
“Mere statements will not serve the purpose. They (BJP) have a double engine government, both in the state as well as at the Centre, they can take up the work whenever they want, but CM Bommai has announced that they will take up this project and remained quiet,” Shivakumar said, adding that the BJP has no interest in irrigation projects of the state.
“We are making preparations for Mekedatu padayatra and we have started morning walks for the purpose. I had been to Cubbon Park, since it was locked, I am on my morning walk here at Vidhana Soudha. We have intimated about padayatra on Mekedatu to Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai and police department about our scheduled programme between February 27 and March 3,” stated Shivakumar.
Speaking to reporters, Shivakumar explained that as CM Bommai is likely to present the budget on March 4 or 5, the padayatra has been cut short by two days. “We are launching agitations in the interest of the state and the nation. Mekedatu padayatra is taken up for the purpose of drinking water and agriculture,” he said.
The Congress leaders, who had launched a padayatra on January 9 from Mekedatu amid the Covid third wave, had agreed to stop the agitation on January 13 after the High Court’s intervention.
The Congress will resume the padayatra from where it was stopped. It has planned to conduct protest rallies in all assembly segments of the capital city Bengaluru for five days before congregating at Basavanagudi National College Grounds.
It has a target of reaching out to 2 crore people in Bengaluru, Urban, Bengaluru Rural and Ramanagara districts through this campaign. Political experts opine that this movement would be a shot in the arm for the Congress party ahead of the civic polls in Bengaluru and local body elections.