The 93-km walk to focus on arecanut issue

The district unit of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will take out a ‘padayatra’ from Hejmady to Byndoor in the district from January 2 to 5.

BJP district unit president T.V. Hegde said the ‘padayatra’ would focus on the issues of reported move by the Union government to ban arecanut, slow pace of the widening work of National Highway 66, increasing evidence of terrorist activity in the coastal districts, and inaction in providing ‘kumki’ land to farmers. “We will also focus on the failures of the State government,” he said.

There was a move by officials of the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to classify arecanut as a substance injurious to health. This would affect the future of thousands of arecanut farmers in the coastal districts.

The pace of widening of NH 66 was slow. The work which should have been completed this year, is likely to be completed next year. The contractor appeared least bothered to complete the widening work. This would also lead to escalation of costs burdening the tax-payers.

Nearly 2,000 BJP workers are expected to participate in the almost 93km-long ‘padayatra’.

Protest to be held

Meanwhile, the BJP district unit will protest in Mangalore on January 2 to condemn the alleged inaction of the State government in protecting the interest of arecanut growers.

The former Chief Minister D.V. Sadananda Gowda alleged that the State was indirectly supporting the Centre’s move to ban consumption of arecanut.

Mr. Gowda said when the issue reached the Supreme Court, the BJP government had set up a panel of advocates, who would work to convince the apex court that consumption of arecanut was not injurious. “But the Congress government disbanded this panel on October 27,” he said.

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