Congress held a convention in Chamarajanagar on Sunday to mobilize large numbers of attendees for its Mekedatu padayatra in Bengaluru to pressure the BJP government to start work on the Mekedatu project.
Addressing the convention, KPCC chairman DK Shivakumar said the party expects at least 10,000 participants from Chamarajanagar with 2,500 from each of the assembly’s four constituencies.
He called on the rally to be part of the inauguration of the 10-day padayatra, which is due to start on the morning of January 9, and the final six-kilometer hike in Bengaluru. The padayatra will end with a public meeting at the Basavangudi field, he said.
Attendance on other days for Chamarajanagar participants is optional, he said. Residents of Mysuru and neighboring areas will be invited to join the padayatra on the second day, he said. Congress has scheduled a similar convention in Mysuru on Tuesday as a prelude to the padayatra and to mark the launch of the party’s membership campaign.
Mr. Shivakumar asked the rally to leave Chamarajanagar early on January 9 to reach Mekedatu in time for the start of the padayatra.
He said all arrangements had been made for breakfast and parking. Participants were invited to register on the portal titled “mekedatunammahakku” to help the organizers make arrangements for food and overnight.
About 5,000 people had registered, he said, and added that the party had booked weddings and set up shamianas along the route for attendees to rest overnight. Although 1,000 rooms have been reserved to accommodate the leaders, Mr. Shivakumar said the party will not be able to make the rooms available to all participants. However, he said he would also sleep with them in the choullries.
Mr. Shivakumar told former MP representing Chamarajanagar R. Dhruvanarayan, who is also the incumbent president of KPCC, to make arrangements for the provision of sugar cane and coconut juice to participants en route to the padayatra. .
In addition to folk artists joining drums and musical instruments, the Congress official asked attendees to prepare to show off their talents by singing or reading poetry.
Mr. Shivakumar said the party will also issue a certificate to participants of the “historic” padayatra.