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Updated on: Thursday, January 06, 2022, 08:34 PM IST

Karnataka: Congress to defy weekend curfew, continue with padayatra by adhering to all Covid-19 guidelines

The party has now decided to defy the weekend curfew even as the Congress has decided to cancel all political rallies in poll-bound states.
Siddaramaiah | ANI

Siddaramaiah | ANI

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Is the Covid weekend curfew being clamped across Karnataka to control Covid-19 or the Congress? The Congress feels that a rattled BJP government has used the Covid-19 to thwart its growing popularity and a planned padayatra.

The party has now decided to defy the weekend curfew even as the Congress has decided to cancel all political rallies in poll-bound states.

“Nobody can stop the sun from shining and water from flowing. Let the government do whatever it wants. We will go ahead with the padayatra by adhering to all Covid-19 guidelines,” KPCC president DK Shivakumar and opposition leader Siddaramaiah said.

The Karnataka Congress plans to launch the 160-km, 10-day padayatra from Mekedatu to Bengaluru on January 9. It plans to start from Sangama near Mekedatu, which falls under Shivakumar’s Kanakapura constituency, and culminate in a rally at Bengaluru – just when the third wave of Covid is likely to peak.

DKS claimed the new restrictions were imposed only to stop the padayatra. “They have increased the Covid-positive numbers and imposed curbs. This has been done with the sole intention of stopping our march,” he said. Siddaramaiah said the party will ensure all participants wear masks and maintain physical distancing.

Covid experts too feel that the weekend and night curfew, imposed by the government, will have only a limited impact since community spread is already on. The government’s move to impose restrictions has also left the ruling BJP divided. While senior ministers, including KS Eshwarappa, have openly lambasted the decision to clamp weekend curfew across Karnataka, MLAs and MLCs representing Bengaluru aired their concerns at a meeting with Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai recently.

“Strict curbs were needed during the first wave since the government needed time to set up medical infrastructure,” noted virologist Dr T Jacob John was quoted in the media. “Now, the scenario is different, and curbs are meant to instil seriousness among people. These curbs will not fetch desired results unless people strictly adhere to safety norms like wearing masks and maintaining physical distance.”

Meanwhile, the Chief minister warned Congress leaders that the government would take suitable action if the padayatra is held.

On the Covid front, Karnataka Thursday recorded 5,031 Covid-19 cases and one death. Bengaluru alone registered 4,324 infections taking the positivity rate to 7.5 per cent.

Earlier, Karnataka Health Minister Dr K Sudhakar said that people need to be cautious for the next four to six weeks to control a possible third wave of Covid-19 and the spread of Omicron variant in the state.

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Published on: Thursday, January 06, 2022, 08:34 PM IST
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