All in a day, two BJP ministers have come under the scanner for flouting the rules for lockdown and quarantine.
Union minister Sadananda Gowda Skips Quarantine: ‘I am a minister, So I am Exempted”
Union minister and BJP MP Sadananda Gowda from Karnataka has sparked controversy by flouting quarantine norms when he arrived in Bengaluru in a flight from Delhi on Monday.
The Karnataka government has made institutional quarantine mandatory for all passengers coming from states with high rates of positive cases.
Speaking to the media later, Gowda claimed that while the guidelines on quarantine are applicable to all citizens, there are certain exemptions for some people.
“Being a minister, I am exempted by the state government and the central government so I do not see the issue,” he said, adding that he also has the government’s contract-tracing app Aarogya Setu on his phone.
As per the state’s standard operating procedure for passengers arriving in flights from various parts of the country, any returnee from “high prevalence states (Maharashtra, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Delhi, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh)” are to mandatorily undergo institutional quarantine for seven days at their own expense.
This would need to be followed by seven more days of home quarantine if their tests – to be conducted during the first week of institutional quarantine – show negative results.
Mandatory home quarantine for 14 days would be applicable for all those arriving from the rest of the states. So far, Karnataka quarantining rules do not mention any exceptions for ministers.
Among those allowed to skip institutional quarantine are businessmen “coming for urgent work,” and bidders “coming to participate in auctions if perishable agricultural commodities”. They need to carry negative COVID-19 test reports not older than two days from the date of travel from an ICMR approved lab.
When asked about the Karnataka government rules of quarantining passengers arriving from other states, Gowda told India Today TV he is the “pharma minister and is exempted from the quarantine rules”.
The guidelines say they can avoid institutional quarantine if they bring a negative test report from a lab accredited by the Indian Council of Medical Research. The test should have been conducted within two days of travel. In case the stay is longer than five days, they would have to get examined again.
Recently a video has emerged of another BJP leader Manoj Tiwari who was in Haryana for a cricket match. In videos, he is not wearing a mask, singing songs, and not following social distancing norms.
This is again while Delhi is among the high prevalence states and borders are sealed from the Haryana side. Many states have even banned entry from these high prevalence states. How is it that Manoj Tiwari could cross Delhi Haryana border and is seen playing cricket in public?
Different rules for Minister and citizens
Talking to media, Gowda said that as he heads the Centre’s pharmaceutical department, it was his responsibility to make sure there is no shortage of medicine. “If I do not supply medicines, then the cases will double,”
Sadananda Gowda is the chemicals and fertilizer minister in the Narendra Modi government. He was a former chief minister of Karnataka.
There have been many complaints where railways and flight passengers are stuck in institutional quarantine despite being COVID19 negative or showing no symptoms with COVID 19 positive members.
The quarantine centers are in very bad conditions and many do not have any water or food facility.
Many migrant workers were subjected to many humiliating exercises of spraying by bleach to doing frog squats and while these ministers enjoy VVIP treatment and no consequences for their action.
Social media did not spare the minister for his recent gaffe.
Sir @PMOIndia @narendramodi Ji is ur minister shielded from Covid19 that he doesn't hv to be in institutional quarantine that Karnataka Govt is forcing us to go thru? How did minister Sadanand Gowda leave while u put us thru institutional quarantine?
Different laws for u & we?
— Akshita Bharat (@akkupositive3) May 25, 2020
— An Indian (@Congress_Army) May 25, 2020
Rules only for common people. Sadanand gowda skips quarantine in Bangalore. https://t.co/lkzQkrkVsx
— ramaraya (@doctoraadmi) May 25, 2020
@Tejasvi_Surya @BJP4Delhi @bjpsamvad so in Bangalore airport sadanand Gowda is allowed to go without institutional quarantine, it's only for common man who gets corona virus? This is democracy at its best. Clap
— Calamity (@Nihilist1860) May 25, 2020