Wearing sports shoes, leaders, including KPCC President R V Deshpande and Opposition leaders Siddaramaiah and Motamma, showed great enthusiasm when they initially began the walk. By the time they reached Jalahalli Circle on Tumkur Road, covering 10 km, they were panting for breath and sweating profusely despite the cloudy, windy weather.
Accompanied by Congress workers shouting slogans against the State Government, the leaders walked up briskly on the Subedar Chattram Road in Seshadripuram. They kept up their pace till Yeshwanthpura Circle. From there, the pace reduced. Some kept looking at their cars that followed them, but were too scared to get into the vehicles lest the media that was following them caught them in the act.
While some of the senior leaders used dormitories at Krishnachandra Convention Hall in Jalahalli to rest after lunch, others were seen gulping water and medicines. Two ambulances and a drinking water tanker were following the padayatra.
“Where is water? Have they made proper arrangements for lunch?” was how Motamma reacted on reaching the Convention Hall at Jalahalli. Her handkerchief was soggy with sweat and she flopped into a chair to relax.
The morning walk took the wind of most leaders and they had extended rest during the lunch break. A public rally that was scheduled to begun at 2 pm after the lunch at Jalahalli circle, began only at 4 pm. Many leaders, it was learnt, were planning to have a good foot massage at night so that they can start the padayatra afresh on Monday.
Siddaramaiah, who took the initiative to organise the padayatra, has been the central attraction. Sporting a white cotton ‘Gandhi cap’, he was in full of enthusiasm.
After the Ahinda movement, it is the first time that Siddaramaiah is the focal point for a public rally.
After he became the Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly, he hit out at the BJP verbally. And, now he has hit the streets to take on the BJP.
In the Naada Rakshane Nadige (the march to protect the land), a good number of Congress leaders including R V Deshpande, D K Shivakumar, Motamma and others are aprticipating in teams. About 50 MLAs have begun their walk towards Bellary. Among all the leaders, it is Siddaramaiah who has a huge workers following him. It is not only the workers, even senior leaders were seen trying to catch up with Siddaramaiah in his brisk walk.
D K Shivakumar was seen walking briskly, accompanied by many young followers from the Youth Congress and the NSUI.
Dinesh Gundu Rao, who had a major altercation with the Bellary Reddys and his associates in the Legislative Assembly, and State Youth Congress chief Krishna Byregowda too were enthusiastic participants.
The padayatra is not against any individuals. It has been organised against the misrule of the Government. The resources of the State are being looted and the Chief Minister has turned a blind eye. The Government has failed on all fronts.
Opposition leader in Assembly
I wish you all success. Everybody is aware of the kind of administration this Government is providing. The Government is getting ready for the next polls by mobilising funds.
T Sriramulu, Cong leader
and freedom fighter
It is an important day in the history of Karnataka. It is a do-or-die battle for the Congress party in the State. I wish all the best.
K H Ranganath,
Senior Cong leader
Padayatra has been organised to create awareness among people. The countdown for the fall of the BJP Government has begun.
R V Deshpande,
It is not an agitation by the Congress party. It is people’s agitation. This Government has surrendered to the money power. Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa has no moral right to stay in power.
H S Doreswamy,