Bengaluru: Former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and requested him to “address the ongoing health emergency” in the country.
In his letter, Siddaramaiah demanded that the Centre should be committed to helping state governments combat the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The Central government played the role of a catalyst in increasing the number of (Covid-19) cases by allowing events like Kumbh mela and huge campaigns during election,” Siddaramaiah noted.
“India, in the past had distributed the vaccines free of cost in its efforts to eradicate polio, smallpox and other diseases. It is surely possible to distribute freely even now and this will ensure accessibility and affordability for all the citizens, thereby fostering economic growth and physical well-being of them,” he stated further.
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The Karnataka government has announced a 14-day lockdown to contain the spread of pandemics. The eventual fallout due to lockdown is highly concerning as the state government has failed to address the livelihood concerns, the letter continued to read.
“Many daily wage labourers, auto drivers, barbers, and many others will become jobless. It is essential to extend the free rice scheme to for six months and compensation of Rs 10,000 should be given to all poor families,” it added.
He also demanded expansion of MNREGA work on-demand basis and increase the wages across the country so that workers returning from cities have sufficient access to income opportunities.