Karnataka BJP divided over weekend curfew across state

BJP National General Secretary CT Ravi and Karnataka Forest Minister Umesh Katti have opposed the curfew.
Several policemen and a mannequin at a barricade during COVID-19 curfew
Several policemen and a mannequin at a barricade during COVID-19 curfew
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Several voices from within the BJP, including senior leaders, have spoken against the weekend curfew imposed by the Karnataka government, with many calling for the easing of curbs in the state. A night curfew from 10 pm to 5 am and a weekend curfew is currently in place in Karnataka till January 31. 

On Tuesday, January 18, BJP National General Secretary CT Ravi and Minister for Forest Umesh Katti said they are in opposition to weekend curfews and lockdowns in the state. CT Ravi, who is also a BJP MLA from Chikkamagaluru, stated that he is against weekend curfews and lockdowns. “COVID-19 cases are not increasing only in Karnataka, Delhi and Mumbai are also seeing a surge in COVID-19 cases. Though cases are on the rise in Karnataka, the fatality rate is very low,” he said.

Instead of imposing lockdowns and curfews, the government should frame guidelines and rules, Ravi said, adding that these rules can ensure people are monitored and the spread of COVID-19 can be contained. 

“Since there is no loss of life in the third wave, there is no need for worrying. Why should people be put at ease by imposing lockdowns? If the records are verified, the percentage of fatalities is very less. Why should anyone be worried much about it? It has caused no harm to those who are fully vaccinated'" he said.

Forest Minister Umesh Katti stated that the government should not impose a lockdown. “People should follow COVID-19 guidelines and preventive measures. If people follow preventive measures, there is no need to impose a lockdown. People should also shun gatherings and celebrations,” he maintained.

The Opposition Congress has been vehemently demanding the lifting of weekend curfew and night curfew in Karnataka. 

Meanwhile, Revenue Minister R Ashoka has announced that a decision would be taken on relaxing the weekend and night curfews, as experts have predicted that the third COVID-19 wave in Karnataka could reach its peak by January 24.

Asked about lifting of curfew orders during weekends and nights, Minister Ashoka remarked that they can't take decisions to the comfort of one section of the society. “If the situation goes out of control the government is accountable hence decisions are made as per the suggestions of the experts’ committee,” he maintained.

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