The ‘Bellary Chalo’ padayatra by Opposition Congress in Karnataka against BJP government’s alleged “misrule” and “failure” to check illegal mining entered second day on Monday.
After breakfast at Harvard college, where the leaders stayed overnight, leader of the Opposition in Karnataka Assembly D. Siddaramaiah led the yatra towards Nelamangala and Tumkur.
Lashing out Chief Minister B. S. Yeddyurappa, who had taken the padayatra lightly saying his party had also undertaken such stirs before, Mr. Siddaramaiah said, “Congress has a history of 125 years. It has held several agitations in the country. Congress need not learn lessons from BJP.”
Mr. Yeddyurappa has been camping in Delhi to divert attention of people over the illegal mining issue, into which Congress is insisting on a CBI probe, he said.
“Mr. Yeddyurappa holds the departments of Forest, Mines and Geology. Why has he not checked illegal mining and is now asking the Centre to do it?” Mr. Siddaramaiah said flaying the Chief Minister’s demand at the NDC meeting seeking Central intervention to ban export of iron ore.
“BJP has no faith in social justice and it is anti-democratic,” said Mr. Siddaramaiah, who embarked upon the 320-km walk to Bellary accepting the challenge thrown at his party by ministers and mining magnets Janaradhana Reddy, Karunakara Reddy and Sriramulu daring the Congress to step into Bellary.
KPCC president R. V. Deshpande said, “This is not our final stir against the BJP government. It would begin from August 9, when the padayatra would be culminating at Bellary in a rally coinciding with the ‘Quit India Movement’ day.”
“Countdown for the fall of the BJP government has begun,” he said.