K’taka oppn averse to lockdown, favours Section 144

Bengaluru legislators and MPs on Monday unanimously favoured imposing Section I44 – prohibition of unlawful assembly of people instead of enforcing measures like lockdown, partial lockdown or night curfew.

After the meeting convened by the Karnataka Revenue Minister, R. Ashoka who also heads the state disaster management committee, that was also attended by Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa virtually, Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee working president, R. Ramalinga Reddy told reporters that they (Congress) were completely opposed to measures like lockdowns and nigh curfew.

“We have suggested that if at all the state government was planning to enforce lockdown, then the state government must take steps to pay at least Rs 25,000 per account in the state, which roughly translates to Rs 15,000 crore. This amount is for the poor people to look after their families,” he said.

He added that there was no need for such measures as it would be appropriate to impose Section 144, which will automatically prevent people coming out in groups and restrict people’s gathering.

Launching an attack on the Karnataka government, Reddy charged that the meeting convened by the minister, Ashoka was just an eyewash and outcome of this meeting will have to be waited till Tuesday.

“Yediyurappa who attended this meeting virtually has assured us that our concerns will be addressed appropriately during all party meetings on Tuesday,” he said.

He accused that neither Revenue minister, Ashoka nor the health minister, K. Sudhakar had answers about shortage of drugs, beds and oxygen in hospitals.

“Despite having an year’s experience tackling pandemic like this, they have failed miserably. They should have equipped themselves as soon as the second wave had hit the neighbouring state Kerala. But, unfortunately, they audaciously waited Covid to knock at their doors and then they woke up. This is an irony of this government, which lacks depth in handling crises like this magnitude,” he slammed.

Meanwhile, Congress party senior leader, C.M. Ibrahim told reporters that the Bengaluru legislators have appealed to the Karnataka government to take steps to clear doubts about Covid vaccines. “People are questioning us that some people are dying in a short duration after the vaccine is given. This is where the government’s role comes in. They must take steps to allay fears,” he said.

He also added that the government must take steps to give decent burial to Covind deaths. “First of all government lacks clarity on many issues, when we question them, they do not even have proper response or solution to a problem,” he said.