Home CITY UPDATES Congress opposes lockdown, proposes Section 144 in Bengaluru

Congress opposes lockdown, proposes Section 144 in Bengaluru


Opposition’s views to be considered at virtual meeting chaired by Guv Vala tomorrow

Flashback: TheBengaluruLive had on April 11 itself reported experts’ push for Section 144 limiting crowds


Following nearly 3 hours of brainstorming by the city’s legislators on Monday over the best solution to control Covid-19’s second wave in Bengaluru, MLAs belonging to the Congress party were united in opposing a lockdown but suggested imposition of Section 144 of the CrPC across the city.

That apart, no concrete decisions came out of the virtual meeting chaired by Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa from his room in Manipal Hospital, where he is being treated for Covid-19.

In fact, TheBengaluruLive was the first media house to report on April 11 that the state’s technical advisory committee (TAC) had recommended imposition of Section 144 of the CrPC to curb large gatherings which turn into super-spreaders.

Read Here: No lockdown advised for Bengaluru: Panel https://thebengalurulive.com/no-lockdown-advised-for-bengaluru-panel/

TV scare-mongering

TheBengaluruLive‘s report had come at a time when Kannada TV channels were creating fear among Bengalureans of an impending lockdown in the city. After our report, till today all the BJP leaders have repeatedly averred that the government is in no mood to impose a lockdown. At the Monday meeting, the city’s Congress legislators also opposed any lockdown and suggested strict implementation of Section 144.

Briefing the media after the meeting, Revenue Minister R Ashoka, who is also vice-chairman of the State Disaster Management Authority, said that the Congress and other opposition party MLAs were each given more than 20 minutes to voice their views. All of them had expressed their views and a final decision would be taken on Tuesday after the virtual meeting to be chaired by Governor Vajubhai Vala, the Minister said.

Read Here: Guv Vala takes lead in convening meeting on Covid crisis https://thebengalurulive.com/guv-vala-takes-lead-in-convening-meeting-on-covid-crisis/

Ashoka said the legislators had expressed concern over the shortage of oxygen. “But we have sufficient oxygen in Karnataka. Hospitals do not have adequate storage capacity. We have directed hospitals to provide for sufficient storage as per their requirements,” he said.

Orders on Remdesivir

The government has also taken steps to control the blackmarketing of Remdesivir and the Bengaluru police have already arrested three people in this connection. The Home Minister has also given orders for strict measures to control blackmarketing of the drug, Ashoka said.

Private hospitals have given only 10% beds while the government had demanded 50% beds for Covid patients. Soon, directions will be issued to take over 60% beds in private hospitals. Further, Arogya Mitras have been appointed in hospitals for assistance to patients.

Regarding the shortage of beds in hospitals, Ashoka said the beds were taken up by people who did not necessarily need urgent treatment. “We have issued directions to open Covid Care Centres in the city. Currently, 12 CCCs are functioning. Asymptomatic and mildly symptomatic patients will be shifted to CCCs where doctors will monitor them. Depending on the requirement, patients will be shifted to hospitals for further treatment,” he added.

Don’t play politics: Cong

At the meeting’s outset, the seniormost Bengaluru MLA, Congressman Ramalinga Reddy questioned the government on its stand on Covid-19 and the steps it proposed to take.

Responding, Revenue Minister R Ashoka said the government would take a rational stand, including relief and rehab measures for needy people.

Also Read: Karnataka: From tomorrow till May 4, statewide night curfew from 9 pm to 6 am https://thebengalurulive.com/karnataka-from-tomorrow-till-may-4-statewide-night-curfew-from-9-pm-to-6-am/

Later, Ramalinga Reddy extended his support and cooperation to the government. He said the Congress did not want to indulge in politics on the Covid-19 issue and requested the BJP government not to do so either.

“Distribute food or medicine fairly. There is an acute shortage of beds in hospitals. Even beds in ICUs are not available. The state is going through a terrible situation where there is a shortage of oxygen. We have demanded at least 25,000 beds in Bengaluru city,” Reddy said.

‘Identify violators’

Reddy also asked BBMP to identify people who are roaming around freely despite being under home isolation. “It is better to enforce Section 144 rather than imposing a lockdown in Bengaluru. Further, the government should take measures to control large gatherings in crowded areas and markets, and the current night curfew timings should not be changed,” he said.

Congress legislator BZ Zameer Ahmed said a lockdown was not a solution. He demanded a quota of at least 25 beds for each legislator so that they can allot beds on priority to needy people in their constituency.

MLA Krishna Byre Gowda said that the government did not have an answer when asked to provide information on beds, ICU beds and ventilator beds. “Now, after all the damage is done, the government has tried to invite Congress MLAs to cover up the issue,” he alleged.


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