Angry over denial of permission to hold meetings with Deputy Commissioners on COVID-related issues, Leader of the Opposition Siddaramaiah on Friday said he will move a breach of privilege motion against the State government during the coming session of the Legislative Assembly, for curtailing his rights to seek information.
Speaking to reporters at the party office after participating in the death anniversary of former Prime Minister late Rajiv Gandhi, Mr. Siddaramaiah said he had planned to obtain information through videoconferences on availability of beds, ventilators, ICU beds, oxygen supply and other medical equipment in district hospitals for providing treatment for COVID patients.
The Leader of the Opposition is a Constitutional post. By denying permission to seek information, the government has breached his privileges. A motion on the breach of privilege would be moved against the government in the next session of the Assembly, he said. “Is this democracy?” he asked. In 2009, the then BJP government too had denied permission to hold meetings with Deputy Commissioners, he said.
A few days ago, Mr. Siddaramaiah and KPCC president D.K. Shivakumar visited Chamarajanagar and held a meeting with the Deputy Commissioner of that district and blamed the government for the death of 24 COVID patients due to shortage of oxygen. The judicial probe too said patients died because of shortage of oxygen.
The Congress leader claimed that he had written 12 letters to Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa seeking details on the management of the pandemic, but he had not received any reply. Like Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Mr. Yediyurappa had decided not to reply to letters written by Opposition leaders, he alleged.
Mr. Siddaramaiah claimed that stepmotherly treatment was being meted out to Karnataka by the Centre. While announcing ₹ 1,000 crore compensation to cyclone-hit Gujarat, Mr. Modi had not promised a paisa to Karnataka, which had been devastated by the cyclone, he said.
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