COVID-19 management: Siddaramaiah to move breach of privilege against Karnataka govt
Bengaluru, May 21: Leader of Opposition (LoP) in Karnataka Assembly Siddaramaiah on Friday said he will move a breach of privilege motion against the state government for denying permission for his proposed video conference meeting with district level officers to obtain information regarding measures taken for COVID-19 management.
"The Chief Secretary after consulting the Chief Minister has written to me that I cannot hold the video conference with Deputy Commissioners (DCs) and district officials. I was not going to hold a review meeting. In 2009 also they (BJP govt) had done the same thing, I was LoP then too," Siddaramaiah said.
Speaking at an event to mark the death anniversary of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi at the state Congress office here, he said BJP and its government don''t believe in democracy adding that the Leader of Opposition is a shadow Chief Minister and is a constitutional post.
"DCs and officials have been asked not to attend the video conference, at the time when people are dying due to COVID without oxygen, vaccination, beds and other medical facilities this government is not allowing us to even gather information, it has to be removed. It amounts to breach of privilege of the LoP," he said.
Siddaramaiah said he will move a breach of privilege motion in the assembly, as he did in 2009.
Denying permission for the Leader of Opposition''s proposed video conference meeting with district level officers to obtain information regarding measures taken for COVID-19 management, Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa-led government had said that there is no such provision.
The Leader of Opposition can obtain administrative information by writing letters to department heads, deputy commissioners and other government officials, but there is no provision to hold a meeting of officials, the Chief Secretary had said in a letter to Siddaramaiah, citing earlier circulars.
Calling it an attempt to restrict opposition parties, Siddaramaiah on Thursday had shot off a missive to the Chief Minister urging that he be allowed to hold the meeting to gather information, failing which he was ready for any kind of parliamentary or constitutional confrontation to safeguard public interest.
Hitting out at the Yediyurappa government, the former Chief Minister on Friday said he has written 12 letters since the second wave of COVID began, seeking information and has received no response.
"The Chief Minister has no courtesy to respond to the opposition, like the Prime Minister," he said.
The centre and the state government have completely failed in managing the COVID crisis and saving the lives of the people, Siddaramaiah added.