Mekedatu Padayatra: Karnataka Congress leaders refuse to get tested for Covid-19, ask which law has made it mandatory? | Bengaluru News – Times of India


BENGALURU: The Congress leaders, including Karnataka pradesh Congress committee (KPCC) president DK Shivakumar, refused to give their samples for Covid-19 testing after the Ramanagara district additional deputy commissioner (ADC) reached out to get the ground report of the health hazard during the Mekedatu Padayatra.
Late on Sunday night, as Shivakumar and the entire Congress contingent camped in Dodalahalli, hometown of Shivakumar after a 14-kilometer walk from Mekedatu, the ADC approached the contingent and asked them to provide swab samples for Covid testing.
On hearing this, a tired and agitated Shivakumar questioned the grounds under which the government was asking them to submit their swab samples for Covid testing.
“I never expected the chief minister to interfere and play such a low level of politics. I refuse to give my swab samples. I am fit and healthy. We also know the law of the land…”, Shivakumar told the ADC.
In fact, the entire Congress leadership present at the padayatra refused to give their samples for testing and alleged that the government was trying to scuttle the walk for water by processing their samples as positive for Covid-19.
“As far as we understand, none from our leadership or cadre gave their samples for testing. This is a political game which is being played by the BJP to scuttle our Padayatra. When each one of us is fit and healthy, why was there a need to demand our swab samples?”, questioned party MLC and working president Saleem Ahmed, adding that if any of them felt the symptoms they would personally break away from the Padayatra.
Ramanagara DC K Rakesh Kumar claimed that the decision to approach the Congress leadership was a “suo moto” decision to inquire on their health and as a precautionary measure.
“Since these leaders were walking for 15 kilometers in the hot sun, we had sent our officials to check on them and at that point asked whether they wanted to submit their samples for Covid testing. There were no orders, which we are aware of from Bengaluru,” said Kumar to TOI.
Earlier, Shivakumar claimed that he has 10 doctors in his own extended family and that even government officials had personally called him to allege that the BJP was manipulating the test results to inflate the positivity rate outside Bengaluru for political gains.
“I know what is happening within the government. The officials themselves are calling me and informing me about the manipulation and corruption which is rampant in Covid testing and results. The entire decision to secure our swab samples was to ensure that I test positive and that all those who had congregated for the padayatra should return home. They have already filed cases against us, we will fight it,” claimed Shivakumar.
The KPCC president said the party was not against Covid norms being implemented but asked the government to withdraw the curfews which are destroying the livelihood of people.
Responding to the allegations, chief minister Basavaraj Bommai said that the intentions of the government were to ensure the safety of the Congress leaders and that of the KPCC president.
“But I have seen the manner in which he refused. What can one do? It shows his culture,” said Bommai.
Health minister K Sudhakar also criticised the Congress party’s decision to not submit their swab samples and said the party will be to blame in the future if the Padayatra becomes a superspreader.
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Sagar Biswas

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