Bengaluru, April 5 (IANS) Reminding of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call, Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa exhorted the people of the state to turn off electric bulbs and light lamps on Sunday at 9 p.m. for 9 minutes.
“I appeal to the people across the state to turn off lights and lit oil lamps or wax candles outside their home tonight (Sunday) at 9pm for 9 minutes, as advised by Modi, to defeat the virus and banish darkness,” said Yediyurappa in a statement here.
In a 9-minute video message on April 3, Modi urged the people across the country to switch off lights and light lamps or candles at 9 p.m. on Sunday for 9 minutes outside their house to dispel darkness and show solidarity in the fight against the scourge of Covid-19.
“If the people do not have oil lamps or candles at home, they can flash torchlight or switch on flashlight on their smart phones to dispel darkness. The cohesive lighting will offer a new light to the world,” Yediyurappa had earlier tweeted.
State Health Minister B.R. Sriramulu and Education minister S. Suresh Kumar joined Yediyurappa in urging the citizens to participate.
Opposition Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) leader and former Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy, however, struck a discordant note by questioning the Prime Minister’s wisdom in asking the people reeling in an unprecedented lockdown to indulge in such theatrics and symbolism in the hour of crisis.
“It is shame to turn a national tragedy into self-aggrandisement and push the hidden agenda of Modi’s ruling party in the face of a global calamity. May better sense prevail upon the prime minister,” he tweeted.
Incidentally, the foundation day of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) falls on April 6.
“I challenge the PM (Prime Minister) to offer a credible scientific and rational explanation for urging the people across the country to light lamps on a particular day, at a specific time (9pm) and for a specific duration (9 minutes) outside their homes or in balconies,” Kumaraswamy said.
“The central government is yet to provide protective equipment to doctors and medical kits for the virus tests. Without telling the nation what measures are being taken to combat the pandemic, Modi is giving meaningless tasks to the people under lockdown over the last 10 days,” thundered Kumaraswamy in another tweet.