Sadananda Gowda says his ‘chemicals’ portfolio is under ‘essential services’, points to his Covid-negative status
Union Minister DV Sadananda Gowda, who courted controversy when he arrived in Bengaluru from Delhi on Monday and bypassed quarantine requirements, defended his ‘privilege’ stoutly, telling mediapersons that his chemicals and fertilizers portfolio came under ‘essential services’.
Later on Monday, the Karnataka government ‘obliged’ by releasing a backdated addendum to its SOP for flyers, exempting, among others, ministers from quarantine.
So as to leave no lingering doubts in the minds of the public, Gowda reiterated his ‘quarantine exemption’ rationale in a subsequent Facebook post, adding for good measure that he had tested negative for Covid-19.
‘Doing my duty’
The Union minister’s post is reproduced verbatim:
“Pained at an attempt made to make my official visit to Bengaluru a controversial one despite I being a Union Minister handling Pharmaceutical Dept, an essential wing fighting COVID-19.
“There are some misleading reports that I disobeyed Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) of Lockdown.
“However I would like to clarify that I followed the SOP, which exempts Ministers, Officers on duty from being quarantined. I am attaching the copy of addendum issued by GOK on May 23, for your perusal.
“Being in Government, we ministers, officers, doctors, healthcare workers, police, security personnel, sanitising workers, govt staff and public representatives have to be in the field helping people.
“At any cost, essential services have to be continued. On many occasions, we face hazardous situations. But we have to carry out our duty.
“There may be some shortcomings in this big war against Corona. But let us focus on lot of positive things which are happening all around.
For the first time, the world is facing such a dangerous virus and people are still learning how to grapple with it.
In comparison with most of the developed countries, hope we all agree, India under the leadership of Prime Minister Sri Narendra Modi, has fared extremely well in containing the spread of disease. You all know, how the whole world applauded India’s effort.
“With regard to availability of essential medicines and fertilizers, I would like to state (as a Minister of concerned departments) there is enough stock in the country. Production has been brought back on track. Also, supply chains have been restored.
‘Am tested regularly’
“In this COVID19 situation, we in responsible positions, have been undergoing COVID19 test regularly.
Happy to share with you a small information that the result of my latest Covid19 test, which was carried out yesterday, is negative.
“My sincere appeal is that please help us to help you. Take enough precautions to avoid infections. Do wear face masks & follow social distancing norms especially when you go out, and happen to be in public places.
“Together we will triumph against Corona pandemic.
“All the best.”