In the all-party meeting convened to discuss the COVID-19 crisis in Karnataka on Tuesday, April 20, Congress leader and former Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah questioned why the meeting was called by the Governor and not the Chief Minister of the state. Calling the move unconstitutional, Siddaramiah said that it is the prerogative of the Chief Minister to call for an all-party meet and the Governorâ€™s intervention is unconstitutional. Governor Vajubhai Vala, at the beginning of the meeting reportedly informed the leaders that he called for the meeting as per the instructions of the Union government.
â€śThe Governor calling for this meeting is unconstitutional. The Governor has been given no rights in the Constitution to govern a state. So while I object to this meeting on constitutional grounds, since I have to respect the Governor, I am attending this meeting. The CM, despite information of the second wave of the COVID-19, not calling for an all-party meeting so far is wrong,â€ť Siddaramaiah said during the meeting.
He reportedly went on to attack state Health Minister Dr K Sudhakar, countering his points at the beginning of the meeting. Siddaramaiah also reportedly criticised Prime Minister Modi for not doing enough to be better prepared to handle the situation.
"Governor cannot take over administration of government. The meeting is unconstitutional. The Governor has to act on the advice of the Council of Ministers. He can seek information from the Chief Minister, but he cannot interfere in the state government's administration. His discretionary power is also limited,â€ť Siddaramaiah later told the media.
Earlier in the day, the Twitter handle of the Karnataka Congress also questioned why the meeting was convened by the Governor. â€śWhat does the Governor convening the all-party meeting indicate? Does the state not have an elected government? Is this the failure of the government or a campaign for #BSYmuktaBJP? Can the government not face the Opposition? Or can they not face the situation? Such a government cannot save the lives of the people,â€ť the tweet read in Kannada.
An all-party meet called by Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa on April 18 was cancelled after he tested positive for the coronavirus, following which the meeting was convened by Governor Vajubhai Vala on April 20 at 4.30 pm. The meeting was attended by several ministers including R Ashoka, Dr K Sudhakar, Dr Ashwath Narayan and Basavaraj Bommai. Opposition leaders including Siddaramaiah, DK Shivakumar, HD Kumaraswamy and others too were present, along with senior officials.