What was supposed to be a 21-day nationwide lockdown was further extended till May 3rd by Prime Minister Modi, keeping in mind the urgent need of saving Indians from the raging COVID-19 pandemic which has claimed 488 lives in India alone. Globally, the disease caused by the SARS-COV-2 virus strain has cost 150,000 lives.
A nationwide lockdown, common sense and basic respect towards fundamental duties would dictate, be followed by all law-abiding citizens in letter and spirit. However, VVIP high handedness and arrogance towards established guidelines was once again seen manifesting as former Karnataka CM, HD Kumaraswamy’s son tied the knot with the grandniece of Congress leader M Krishnappa.
Nikhil and Revathi got hitched at a farmhouse owned by Kumaraswamy in Karnataka’s Ramanagar. Last week, preparations for the wedding were in full swing even as trucks carrying tents and other items were spotted at the farmhouse. Despite the former Chief Minister claiming that the ceremony would not be attended by more than 60 people, many have alleged that the stated number was no match for the audience which actually took part in the marriage ceremony.
BJP had hit out at the JD(S) family for flouting the norms, alleging that at least 150 to 200 vehicles were given permission to attend the event, that too at a time when social workers wanting to serve the badly affected poor people were not being allowed to ply any form of transport.
However, in complete contestation of his party line, Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa took it upon himself to absolve the former Chief Minister and his family of all their criminal negligences. The chief minister said “Kumarswamy has conducted the wedding in a simple manner. No need to discuss the issue. Even though his family is large. He has conducted the wedding in limits. I convey my regards. They had done it well within their limits for which I congratulate them.”
HD Kumaraswamy held the wedding (of his son Nikhil with Revathi, grand-niece of ex-Congress Minister M Krishnappa) in a simple manner. No need to discuss the issue. Even though his family is large he held the wedding in limits. I convey my regards: Karnataka CM BS Yediyurappa pic.twitter.com/UTQm2aZIQV
— ANI (@ANI) April 18, 2020
This statement by Yediyurappa comes in the backdrop of his own deputy, Aswath Narayan saying that the government would seek a report from the district SP and DC in order to ascertain potential lockdown violations. He also added that action was necessary, as nobody can make a mockery out of the system.
I have sought a report from Ramnagar Deputy Commissioner. I will speak to the Superintendent of Police, we need to take action otherwise it will be a complete mockery of the system: CN Ashwathnarayan, Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister https://t.co/N8OVxxq3Gt pic.twitter.com/WGl8ZLATZw
— ANI (@ANI) April 17, 2020
In a brazen attempt to please Kumaraswamy and H D Deve Gowda, Yediyurappa seems to have forgotten that even one new infection emanating from the wedding can spell a disaster for Karnataka, as SARS-COV-2 is a highly infectious virus strain, with a minimum R-naught value of 3.
In Karnataka, closed-door weddings were allowed as long as there were less than 75-100 guests as per the state notification which was issued on March 22nd. However, in light of the extension of the nationwide lockdown, the Ministry of Home Affairs issued a fresh set of guidelines which bars all social, political, sports, religious functions and others till May 3rd.
Political leaders are meant to lead by example, not brazenly flout rules and regulations simply because they are VIP of sorts. While PM Modi is doing all he can to ensure that his government leaves no stone unturned to defeat the pandemic at hand, Yediyurappa is busily mollycoddling the Deve Gowda family in Karnataka. The man has some serious introspection to do.