Governor asks Karnataka government to ramp up Covid testing, stop drug smuggling | Bengaluru News – Times of India

BENGALURU: In a move that sparked a lot of speculations, Karnataka governor Vajubhai Rudabhai Vala summoned chief minister BS Yediyurappa and home minister Basavaraj Bommai to Raj Bhavan on Friday morning and asked the government to supposedly increase the Covid-19 testing and also to clamp down on the supposed increase in the smuggling of drugs in Gutka packets.
With such a sudden meeting scheduled, the initial speculations revolved around the timing of deputy chief minister Laxman Savadi’s visit to New Delhi and the alleged plans of the central leadership to change Yediyurappa at the helm of the government.
It may be recalled that Savadi, prior to rushing to Delhi on the day when the BJP government completed one year in power, had met Governor Vala amid rumours of the party wanting to “ease out” Yediyurappa out of power.
However, as things began to settle down, the speculations began surrounding the governor wanting to ascertain the CM’s plans of cabinet expansion.
With possible dates being considered in the first week of August, it was said Vala wanted to know whether the state government was indeed planning to have the expansion, when it wanted to schedule it and with how many new faces.
However, with such massive speculations circling on television channels, the CMO decided to issue a hurried release, a few hours after the meeting.
In their half an hour meeting, the CMO release said that Yediyurappa and Bommai met the governor and discussed : “the present Covid-19 situation in Karnataka and explained the actions taken by the government to control Covid-19 pandemic, and testing and reporting, treating process and also about the arrangements made by the government in this regard.”
It went on to add that Vala suggested to the government to increase the speed test of Covid-19 (antigen) and also use “ayurveda medicine and homeopathy medicine to control the coronavirus in all the affected areas of the state.”
According to CMO officials, CM Yediyurappa had in fact called for a meeting of officials in the morning to supposedly prepare the government reply on the Covid-19 situation.
Interestingly, this was the second time that Yediyurappa had met the governor in a fortnight,with the last meeting clearing the decks for nominating five MLCs to the upper house.
Even at that time the CMO had denied any political attributions to the meeting between the two before releasing the list of nominees to the council.
On the other end, justifying the presence of Bommai, the release said Vala also suggested to the CM to ban the sale and distribution of tobacco/gutka/paan masala and all types of pouches in which drugs were being smuggled and sold in the state.
“Due to this youth and students are getting addicted and they are in danger,” read the release, attributing it to the governor.
The release said the matter will be discussed at the government level and action will be initiated, and if required, an ordinance will be issued to curb the menace.

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Sagar Biswas

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