Karnataka Cabinet withdraws Covid-19 violation cases against Congress leaders, including CM Siddaramaiah, related to the ‘Mekedatu padayatra’ in 2022. Decision based on an application by Congress MLA. Cases involved violations during the march.
Decision to Withdraw Cases
The Karnataka Cabinet, on Thursday, approved the withdrawal of criminal cases against state Congress leaders, including Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and Deputy Chief Minister D K Shivakumar, in relation to their violation of Covid-19 guidelines during the party’s ‘Mekedatu padayatra’ in 2022.
Padayatra Despite Covid Restrictions
The Congress, then in opposition, organized the ‘Mekedatu padayatra’ to advocate for the Mekedatu project’s implementation across the Cauvery river, despite Covid-19 restrictions.
Reason Behind Withdrawal
The decision to withdraw the nine criminal cases was based on an application submitted by Congress MLA Ashok Pattan, who is also the government’s Chief Whip in the Legislative Assembly. These cases were connected to violations of Covid-19 guidelines, Section 144, and other offenses during the Mekedatu agitation.
The cases were linked to Congress leaders, including state President D K Shivakumar, Siddaramaiah (then Leader of Opposition), and D K Suresh (Bengaluru Rural MP), who were accused of organizing a party convention and the Mekedatu march from Ramanagara to Bengaluru.
Background of the March
The ‘Namma Neeru, Namma Hakku’ (Our water, Our right) march began on January 9, 2022, at the confluence of Cauvery and Arkavathi rivers in Kanakapura. The march aimed to cover nearly 139 km and conclude at Basavanagudi on January 19. However, it was temporarily halted on January 13 due to the Covid-19 surge and restrictions imposed by the government and the Karnataka High Court.
Resumption and Conclusion of the March
The Congress later resumed the padayatra in February, and it concluded at the National College Ground in Basavanagudi on March 3.
The decision to withdraw these cases sheds light on the political and legal aspects surrounding the Mekedatu padayatra and its impact on Congress leaders in Karnataka.