Mangaluru: MP Nalin Kumar Kateel held a press meet at the BJP office here, on October 14.
Addressing the mediapersons, Nalin said that the four-day Padayatra from Mangaluru to Yettinahole has been a huge success. “More than 25,000 people joined us from Mangaluru and other districts to support the padayatra. Religious heads from various temples along with more than 25000 people who were unable to join our protest blessed us for the success of the padayatra.”
He further said that the police stopped the people from Hassan who were supposed to join the protest in Sakleshpur because the government is afraid of the people who are protesting against the project. “We were protesting peacefully by following Mahatma Gandhi’s and Brahma Shree Narayana Guru’s principals but we have been arrested by the people who have built the party on Gandhi’s principals. We are not against the government for providing water to the people of Kolar or Chikkaballapur, but we are protesting against the unscientific method in implementing the Yettinahole project. The Congress government showed that they can stop protesters by using police force and can continue the project. We are also against the government which is spending Rs 13,000 crores for the project. We want the people of Kolar to hear our voice that the Yettinahole project cannot provide sufficient water to them.”
He also said, “On October 15, various organizations will stage a protest at Mahaveera Circle, Pumpwell and we will support it. MP Nalin Kumar will not deliver any speech because if I speak, it will be politicized. To avoid political colour to the protest, I have decided to take part in every protest against the Yettinahole project, till the government stops the project. I urge the various organizations and the people from the district to take part in the protest keeping aside party differences.”
When asked about the Hassan Police warning the protesters of arrest if they enter Hassan, Nalin said, “There was no prior information about the arrest on entering Hassan district.”
He also said that the ball is in Chief minister Siddaramaiah’s court and he can stop the project.
BJP district president Pratap Simha Nayak said that the protest against the Yettinahole project will not be limited to Padayatra but will continue. “We will join hands with all organizations to protest against the Yettinahole project.” He also said that all measures will be taken to stop the Yetthinahole project from continuing. “We will collect the feedback and opinion of the people of the district and send a memorandum to the state government to stop the project. We will create awareness among the people at the Gram and Taluk Panchayat level, the members of GP and TP will visit every house to spread awareness.”
He also said that the district minister in-charge should take the lead and hold a public discussion on the Yettinahole project. “MP Nalin Kumar Kateel has already made a four-day Padayatra to Yettinahole and showed a way to protest against the project. We will support the district minister in-charge if he calls for a public discussion under his leadership.”
Yogish Bhat, Sulochana G K Bhat, Nitin Kumar, Rukmayya Poojary, Padmanabh Kottari, Vikas Puttur, Umanath Kotian, Nitin Kottari and others were also present.