RS Oppn leader Mallikarjun Kharge tests Covid positive


[**EDS: FILE IMAGE** Bengaluru: In this Sunday, Jan. 9, 2022 file image Opposition leader in Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge participates in Congress party's 'padaytra' programme from Mekedatu to Bengaluru to demand the implemention of Mekedatu project. Kharge has tested positive for COVID-19. ( /PTI] Bengaluru, Jan 13 : Mallikarjun Kharge, the opposition leader in the Rajya Sabha, tested positive for Covid-19 on Thursday. Along with him, five of the staff members at his office have also tested positive for corona. Kharge had participated in the ongoing Mekedatu padayatra here and had inaugurated it by beating drums. The development has come as a setback to the Congress party, which is adamantly going ahead with the 10-day padayatra despite rapid surge in the Covid cases in the state. State Home Minister Araga Jnanendra has stated that former Union Minister Veerappa Moily, former minister Shivashankar Reddy, senior Congress leader Mallajamma have also tested positive for Covid. All of them participated in the Mekedatu padayatra. He had also warned that because of the Congress rally there might be a lockdown situation in the state and the Congress will have to take the responsibility for it. He has also warned that the government will not allow the Congress leaders to take padayatra on Thursday. Meanwhile, the Congress leaders are holding a meeting at its Ramanagar office and discussing the future course of action. Congress State President D.K. Shivakumar and Opposition leader Siddaramaiah are deliberating with the party workers. Ramnagar Superintendent of Police Girish has personally met Siddaramaiah and conveyed the message that if he takes part in padayatra, he would be arrested. The police department has beefed up the security at Aijur circle in Ramanagar, the starting point of the padayatra on Thursday. The rally has been planned by the Congress to move through Bengaluru-Mysuru highway and reach Bidadi. /IANS


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