With the recent communal violence in Kalladka leading to a blame game between the Congress and the BJP, the Congress committee will take out padayatras (rallies on foot) throughout the district from March 14 to showcase the “communal harmony propagated by the party”.

The party has also chosen three spokespersons from three different religions in keeping with the “secular principles” of the Congress, said Ibrahim Kodijal, District Congress Committee president, here on Wednesday. K. Tharanath Shetty, Ivan D’Souza and Shahul Hameed have been chosen as the spokespersons to “give equal opportunities for all faiths in the party”, Mr. Kodijal said.

“The padayatras will spread the word that the Congress is secular and is needed to maintain communal harmony in the district. There can be no development without communal harmony. The party has been a bridge between Hindus and Muslims and other faiths,” he said.

He listed the schedule of the padayatras as: March 14 in Mangalore, Mangalore South and North constituencies; March 15, Bantwal; March 16, Moodbidri; March 17 Belthangady; March 18 in Puttur; and, March 19 in Sullia.

The padayatras will be flagged off at 9 a.m. on Friday with a walk from Thokottu in Mangalore constituency to Kuloor in Mangalore North constituency.

‘Communal’

Mr. Kodijal blamed “communal elements” and the local police for the violence at Kalladka.

When asked if the Congress-led government in the State could be held responsible as it controls the police department, Mr. Kodijal said: “We have appointed good police at the top. It is the local police that needs to pull the socks. When there are thousands of people at the meet, how can the police send only 18 persons to the spot?”

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