Congress rally in Bengaluru over petrol price hike faces criticism for lack of safety measures

Bengaluru: A protest by the Congress party in Bengaluru on Monday over rising fuel prices has attracted attention over the apparent lack of safety measures during the rally.

Several Congress workers led by seniors like Siddaramaiah, D.K.Shivakumar and Mallikarjun Kharge among scores of other state and national leaders took part in the rally.

Scenes of workers and supporters jostling for space as they chanted slogans against the steep fuel price hikes by the central government at the protest rally raised concern and faced criticism for their apparent lack of safety precautions even as the number of covid-19 cases continue to rise.

Shivakumar, the state Congress president, said that the B.S.Yediyurappa-led government could not accuse anyone else of violating safety norms. 

“Let them (government) take action against Yediyurappa, (health minister) B.Sriramulu, K.S.Eshwarappa among others,” Shivakumar said.

The chief minister and several members of his cabinet have been seen visiting weddings and other events with little regard to social distancing or other safety measures like masks at a time when the state recorded over 1000 cases for the second consecutive day.

Bengaluru recorded 738 cases on Monday that has put the state government on the backfoot and promoted it to take steps like lockdown on Sunday’s and increasing night curfew hours to deter people from moving around freely.

Sriramulu stoked controversy first in March when over one lakh people attended the wedding of his daughter in Bengaluru days after he discouraged large gatherings due to the risk of spreading the novel coronavirus.

Earlier this month, the health minister participated in an event in which a few hundred people gathered to felicitate him.

Even union minister D.V.Sadananda Gowda was alleged to have flouted norms when he flew into Bengaluru from Delhi on 25 May.

The state government was alleged to have issued backdated guidelines which exempted union ministers from institutional quarantine.

The state government has permitted for the official coronation as president of the Congress on 2 July in which the party expects at least a few hundred to be present physically while others online.

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