The Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) in its press conference demanded that the Government provides Rs. 25000 to provide for the sustenance of all families affected by the ‘Undeclared Lockdown’ imposed in the state by the govt. This came in the backdrop of police forcefully shutting down shops and other commercial establishments in the afternoon of 22nd April 2021 which took the traders by surprise. Such attempts by the police were despite the guidelines issued by the govt. allowing for the functioning of such establishments.
The leaders of the Congress Party also condemned the act of the government to use Police and brutal force including Lathi charge in some places to ensure the closure of all non-essential establishments across the state on 22nd April 2021. This was even when the official guidelines provided by the govt.had allowed the functioning of the small and medium business establishments.
Speaking in the press conference, the president of Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee DK Shivakumar said ” Contradicting their own Covid lockdown guidelines as announced by the Chief Secretary a few days ago, the government made use of the Police and used brutal force like Lathi charge to shut down the business establishments across the state yesterday all of a sudden without providing any prior intimations. These business establishments and people working therein have never objected to the government’s initiatives but have joined hands and stood by the government to be able to contain the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic. Not just that, they have been paying taxes promptly. They have generated and provided employment to a large number of people across the state even when the government has not been able to provide employment to people. Let alone aiding them or providing them amount as relief, they have not intimated them aptly about the guidelines to be followed and have used force to shut their operations. Our MLAs and other leaders are getting thousands of calls from people in our constituencies. By such moves, the government has insulted the tax-payers of this country.”
“Firstly, the government has failed to control the increase of cases over the last 10-11 months. What do now call this failure and increase of Covid-19 cases? Do we call it the second wave? BJP Wave? Modi or Yeddiyurappa wave? It is left to you. Whatever it is, let the government undertake any measure deemed fit to control the spread of the pandemic. But we demand that the government directly transfers Rs 25000 to the accounts of all the poor families that are affected in the state to aid their sustenance at the time of this economic crisis. They must aid not just people who lose their employment but also people who have undergone losses while providing employment. Congress through its leaders Krishna Byregowda and Ramalinga Reddy had demanded the same even in the all-party meeting a few days ago. However, the government has been anti-people, anti-youth, anti-businesses, anti-employed, anti-street vendors, anti-worker, anti-women, anti-farmers, and anti-student and we have been attempting to convey it. Even if the government cannot do it by itself, let it convey a bankers’ meeting and ask them to do whatever they can ”
KPCC Working President Ramalinga Reddy added that “Today, even though it’s not a lockdown, the guidelines mandated by the government is almost similar to a lockdown. The lives of millions including that of street vendors and auto-rickshaw, Uber, and OLA drivers have been badly hit. Factories, Malls, Gyms, and Kalyan Mantaps (with attendance restricted to 50 people) everything has been shut down. Almost 90% of all economic activities have been shut down. Yet, the govt. has not called it a lockdown because, it will have to provide reliefs, be it in form of rations, cash, or essentials’ kits if they do so.
In addition to this, they have raised house tax across the state. They have withheld it temporarily in the case of Bengaluru because the BBMP elections are around the corner. They increased fees for plan sanctions by 3%. The govt. also attempted to raise taxes on water supply but have stalled it because of the opposition.
We demand that all families of daily-wage workers and middle-classes who engage in work with the informal and private sector be provided with a relief of Rs 25000. The govt. also has to provide tax rebates like how Hyderabad did it the last year. Interest payments on Bank loans must be waived off and the payment of premium amounts must be deferred.” demanded Ramalinga Reddy.
Earlier in the day, Leader of Opposition and former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah wrote to all the Congress MLA’s appealing them “To stand by the people and aid them with timely needs like hospitals, oxygen supplies, arranging oxygen and to also provide food supplies for the needy in the times of the Covid-19 second wave just like the earlier times, thereby acting in a humanitarian way”
The move on part of the police and government which had led to harassment of people was earlier condemned by former Chief Ministers, Siddaramaiah, and JD(S) leader H.D. Kumaraswamy, who called it “fickle policy”.