B. S. Yediyurappa | Photo: PTI
Bengaluru: In yet another reversal, the Karnataka government on Thursday withdrew its decision to enforce eight days night curfew, just hours before it was coming into force across the southern state.
Chief Minister B. S. Yediyurappa, in a statement, said that the state government is withdrawing the night curfew order in the wake of several cabinet colleagues and bureaucrats expressing displeasure about this.
"Even general public opinion is also against it although our government took such decisions with good intent and based on experts' opinions. Therefore, I am withdrawing the decision," he said.
He also appealed to people to follow social distancing norms strictly besides wearing masks.
In the last 48 hours, Yediyurappa changed his mind four times. On Tuesday evening, he had vehemently denied that any such night curfew would be enforced, but, on the same day, Health and Family Welfare Minister, K. Sudhakar had shown his inclination towards implementing such decision.
However, on Wednesday morning, after Sudhkar met him along with experts, Yediyurappa agreed to enforce the night curfew from the same night itself. However, he changed this decision too within hours, after several trade associations took objections to it and revised it to go into effect from Thursday night.
And now on Thursday, he again changed his decision, and this time, chose to withdraw the decision itself.
Several party leaders took serious objections to Yediyuirppa's decision, contending that this order was coming in way of electioneering of second phase of gram panchayat polls that are slated on December 27.
"How can we campaign? Everyone is aware that the last two or three days are crucial for winning elections. This is just common sense. New Year celebrations need to be curbed... for that the government could have enforced it from December 28 or 29 onwards," a senior BJP leader, who was speaking on the condition of anonymity, told IANS.
Throughout the day, Congress leaders including its state unit President, D.K. Shivakumar and Dinesh Gundu Rao charged separately that the state government was taking "abrupt and unscientific decisions". "Do the BJP leaders have any sense? How can they implement such a decision without giving a forethought?" Shivakumar asked.
Gundu Rao, taking to Twitter, asked how can one term this as "night curfew", when government is allowing 50 per cent workers work during the night shift. "Government allowed free movement of traffic and bars and restaurants are open till 11 pm, how can anyone call this night curfew?" he said.