BJP Shares Video of Shivakumar ‘Coughing’ Without Mask During Mekedatu Protest, Says ‘Hell Bent on Increasing Covid Cases’

The Karnataka BJP on Sunday slammed the state Congress for undertaking Mekedatu padayatra amid the Covid-19 surge and shared a purported video showing state Congress President D K Shivakumar coughing in public without wearing a mask.

Calling the protest for demanding implementation of Mekedatu project across river Cauvery, as “fake”, the Karnataka BJP in a tweet said, “It appears that he is having #COVID19 symptoms but is still interacting with CONgress workers without a mask.” “Is he hell bent on increasing Corona cases?” it added.

The tweet comes after the Leader of Opposition in the Karnataka assembly, Siddaramaiah, who took part in the Congress’ padayatra in Ramanagara district returned to the city post-lunch, due to fever, according to reports.

Videos of former Chief Minister speaking to Bengaluru Rural MP D K Suresh, former Minister R V Deshpande and other Congress leaders about him having fever and wanting to take rest for some time, and later leaving in his official car, have surfaced.

Shivakumar however flayed concerns regarding Covid-19 symptoms and said, “we should understand he is nearing 74-75 years of age, he has stents, we had asked him not to climb the upward route today, so naturally there he has strain.”

Major and Medium Irrigation Minister Govind Karjol has tweeted expressing concern about Siddaramaiah developing fever.

BJP in a tweet also criticized the Congress and questioned whether its padayatra is to provide water for Bengaluru or to spread COVID in the city.

The Congress began its 10-day padayatra from Mekedatu to Bengaluru this morning, despite the government’s COVID-19 restrictions and warnings. Led by Shivakumar and Siddaramaiah, the padayatra with the theme ‘Namma Neeru Namma Hakku’ (Our water, Our right) began at the Sangama, the confluence of Cauvery and Arkavathi rivers in Kanakapura in Ramanagara district, is scheduled to pass through Kanakapura, Ramanagara and Bidadi, before culminating at Basavanagudi in Bengaluru on January 19, spanning a distance of 139 km.

(With inputs from PTI)

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