Eshwarappa and his family visited the Ganapati temple in Shivamogga on June 10 to celebrate his 73rd birthday.

Eshwarappa and family seen visiting the Ganapathi Temple in Shivamogga amidst lockdown
news Politics Friday, June 11, 2021 - 13:57

Amid the state-wide lockdown currently in place in Karnataka, senior minister KS Eshwarappa violated the norms. Eshwarappa, who has courted controversy in the past, this time violated lockdown rules by visiting the Ganapathi temple at Vinoba Nagar in Shivamogga on Thursday, June 10. He was celebrating his 73rd birthday. Over 14 members of the Rural Development and Panchayat Raj Minister’s family, including his wife, children and grandchildren, visited the temple. As per the COVID-19 guidelines, only priests are allowed to offer worship for a few minutes every day. Visitors to any place of worship are strictly now allowed.

The Ganapathi temple is located inside the compound of the Shubhamangala Samudaya Bhavana in Shivamogga, which was turned into a COVID Care Centre two weeks ago. The main hall of Shubhamangala Samudaya Bhavana houses beds for asymptomatic COVID-19 patients. Eyewitnesses told TNM that Eshwarappa and his family arrived at the temple, which was opened exclusively for him, at around 8.15 am. He was reportedly inside for almost 30 minutes, offering a special pooja. 

Eashwarappa is the in-charge minister for the district of Shivamogga; the district administration, when questioned by the local reporters, claimed they were unaware of the incident. TNM’s calls to Eshwarappa went unanswered. Earlier, on May 18, CM Yediyurappa’s son Vijayendra had visited the Nanjangud temple with his wife. After the photographs of the same went viral, the Karnataka High Court, on May 20, questioned the state government over the VIP treatment given to Vijayendra. 

On Thursday, June 10,  CM Yediyurappa announced that the lockdown in the state will continue while relaxations were announced for 20 districts, including Bengaluru Urban, from June 14. Karnataka has been under lockdown since April 27. The decision to relax restrictions in certain districts comes as the COVID-19 cases have been dipping across the state. The existing lockdown rules will continue with no changes in districts with high test positivity rate (TPR) — Chikkamagaluru, Shivamogga, Davangere, Mysuru, Hassan, Chamarajanagara, Dakshina Kannada, Bengaluru Rural, Mandya, Belagavi and Kodagu.

In the 20 districts where the restrictions will be relaxed, including Bengaluru Urban and Udupi, a curfew will be in effect from 7 pm to 5 am from June 14. The weekend curfew will also be in effect in these districts from 7 pm every Friday till 5 am every Sunday till further notice.

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