JD(S), Congress lock horns on Mekedatu padayatra

JD(S), Congress lock horns on Mekedatu padayatra

While H D Kumaraswamy criticised it as a 'mere show', D K Shivakumar maintained it was apolitical

KPCC chief D K Shivakumar (L) and JD(S) leader H D Kumaraswamy. Credit: DH File Photos

KPCC president D K Shivakumar and former JD(S) chief minister H D Kumaraswamy, once political allies, have locked horns on the Mekedatu issue.

The Congress’ padayatra starting January 9 is a “mere show” as the party leaders know that nothing will be accomplished by this, Kumaraswamy said on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Shivakumar maintained that his party’s Mekedatu campaign is apolitical, and that he had invited film actors and pontiffs to join.

Training guns at the Congress, Kumaraswamy said the DPR on the Mekedatu project is stuck with the Centre for technical and legal reasons.

“The Centre has already told Karnataka earlier to get Tamil Nadu’s support for the project. When such is the case, will a mere padayatra solve the issue,” he asked.

Instead of the padayatra, the Congress must be looking at putting pressure on the Centre through an all-party delegation, he said. During the JD(S)-Congress coalition government, he had met Prime Minister Narendra Modi in this regard several times. “But what has the Congress done till now?” 

Meanwhile, Shivakumar maintained that the Congress initiative was apolitical. He had reached out to those in the film industry, seers, colleges and even apartment associations to join the struggle for Mekedatu. People can join out of their own volition. Let the JD(S) and the BJP people too join, he invited.

In response to Kumaraswamy’s criticism, Shivakumar said it was surprising that the JD(S) leader was against the idea of padayatra when his own party had taken up several such initiatives. “Even former prime minister H D Deve Gowda has taken part in padayatras,” he said. Some of these struggles see success, while others do not, he stated, reiterating that the Mekedatu struggle was for the benefit of the people.

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