Vishwanath lashes out at govt. over its ‘failure’ to tackle COVID-19 situation

A.H. Vishwanath  

Former Minister and BJP MLC A.H. Vishwanath on Tuesday lashed out at his own party government in the State for its ‘failure’ to tackle the situation arising out of COVID-19 pandemic.

Expressing concern over worsening of the situation, he criticised the government for “behaving as though nothing was wrong” even when a large number of people in the State, particularly in Bengaluru, were dying following the ‘collapse’ of medical infrastructure. “Even the last rites are being denied to the dying”, he bemoaned.

Speaking to reporters in Mysuru, Mr. Vishwanath referred to Health Minister’s reported statement that people were themselves responsible for roaming around freely and causing a spike in the number of cases. “It is an irresponsible statement from the Minister”, Mr. Vishwanath said before cautioning the Minister against blaming the public.

Reacting to a statement by another Minister that the situation in Karnataka was not as bad as it was in a few other States, Mr Vishwanath wondered whether the Minister was waiting for a worse situation than the present when the afflicted patients are not finding hospitals, beds and oxygen.

Mr. Vishwanath said that he was making such statements against the government even though he was part of the ruling party as he would be deceiving himself if he does not say so.

The BJP MLC said the Ministers had not been given any powers by the Chief Minister to take any decision. All the decisions had to be taken by the Chief Minister, he said and claimed that the IAS officers were not listening to the Ministers. “What is the need for a Cabinet when even the Ministers themselves say that the Chief Minister will decide ?”

Also, there is no coordination between the Ministers, Deputy Chief Ministers and the Chief Minister, he claimed.

Taking serious exception to Governor Vajubhai Vala chairing an all-party meeting to discuss the COVID-19 situation in the State, Mr. Vishwanath said the Governor intervenes only when an elected government fails to deliver. “Has the government failed in tackling COVID-19? Is that the reason why the Governor is stepping in?”

Pointing to the admission of Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa to a private hospital after testing positive for COVID-19 again, Mr .Vishwanath said “It is OK if the Chief Minister is in hospital. What are the three Deputy Chief Ministers doing? Are they Deputy Chief Ministers just for namesake? Don’t they have any powers?”

The BJP MLC sought to know from the government what happened to the estimated 2,000 beds that had been brought and put up at the Bengaluru International Exhibition Centre (BIEC) for treatment of COVID-19 patients. He also wanted to know why the government made no preparations even though the World Health Organisation (WHO) and Central intelligence agencies had warned about the second wave. “The leadership has failed to provide medical assistance to its people”, he lamented.

He also found fault with the Chief Minister attending election rallies in North Karnataka even after he developed fever. “It is the duty of his personnel to caution him against doing so.”

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Printable version | Jun 23, 2021 1:59:37 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/vishwanath-lashes-out-at-govt-over-its-failure-to-tackle-covid-19-situation/article34368448.ece

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