Several Congress leaders, including State unit president G. Parameshwar, took part in the “Congress Nadige Saamarasyadedige” padayatra in Dakshina Kannada and Udupi districts on Wednesday.
It started from Kulai in Mangalore and ended at Mulky.
The padayatra started around 11 a.m. as Congress activists burst crackers. “Chande” artistes performed during the padayatra. Congress leaders such as Mr. Parameshwar, Siddaramaiah, B. Janardhan Poojary, Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Council S.R. Patil, the former Chairman of the Karnataka Legislative Council V.R. Sudershan and the former Union Minister C.M. Ibrahim participated in the padayatra.
The padayatra was stopped for some time near Surathkal bus-stand where party workers observed a minute’s silence to mark Martyrs’ Day.
Addressing Congress workers, Mr. Poojary expressed the need to imbibe the qualities of Mahatma Gandhi such as sacrifice. “We should learn to sacrifice ourselves for the service of people,” he said and asked party men to wear clothes made of khadi. The principles of the Congress were one of its stronger aspects, and those who joined the party must follow them. Mr. Parameshwar said the Congress had worked for the development of the coastal region. Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Limited (MRPL) started functioning during the Congress regime. The Union government had sanctioned Rs. 1,100 crore for the third phase of the development of MRPL. The BJP government was working against the development of the State. The purpose of the padayatra was to highlight the maladministration of the BJP government.
Mr. Siddaramaiah said that the State government had failed in the implementation of development projects. It had not paid the salary of many teachers.