Congress leader Patil defends Mekedatu padayatra: Omicron variant not as dangerous as last one
Bengaluru, Jan 12: Former Karnataka home minister MB Patil has defended his party's decision to go head with Mekedatu padyatra amid rising Covid-19 cases in the state. He also claimed that the new variant of Covid-19 is not dangerous as the last one.
"The padayatra was planned before the cases started to rise. This variant is not as dangerous as the last one. This is a milder one, just like flu, there is no requirement of ICU or oxygen," news agency ANI quoted Patil as saying. He claimed that padyatra is a fundamental right.
Patil said that party workers are wearing masks and using sanitisers apart from taking precautions to spread the prevent of Covid-19.
However, the pictures and videos clips of Congress leaders failing to follow Covid-appropriate behaviour have been doing rounds on social media sites. Also, two leaders, who were part of padayatra, have tested Covid-19 positive.
Meanwhile, the Karnataka High Court slammed the ruling BJP for allowing Padayatra while sending a show-cause notice to the KPCC.
Hearing a petition, the division bench of Chief Justice Ritu Raj Awasthi and Justice Suraj Govindaraj also directed the state government to submit before it on Friday how the permission was granted to the KPCC to hold the rally. The Bench asked the government what measures were taken to restrain the KPCC from holding the rally. The court directed Congress to explain whether they were adhering to COVID norms such as wearing face masks, and maintaining social distancing.
An FIR has been registered against 40 party leaders including its state President DK Shivakumar and others for taking out the march defying COVID-19 curbs.
The Congress has begun the 10-day long padayatra on Sunday demanding the state government for the implementation of Mekedatu project. The march continued for the fourth day today for a distance of about 14.3 km from Kanakapura to Chikkenahalli, with the participation of hundreds of party workers and supporters. The padayatra spanning a distance of nearly 139 km is scheduled to conclude at Basavanagudi in Bengaluru on January 19.