A controversy broke out after Karnataka Health Minister B Sriramulu took part in a religious procession in Chitradurga district with hundreds of supporters without wearing a mask and failing to maintain social distancing. This was in complete violation of the social distancing guidelines set forth by the state government to fight COVID-19 pandemic in the state. A video of the procession was widely shared on social media.
The video show the minister standing on an open truck and being showered with petals. This was at a ritual at Vedavathi river. He was accompanied by Chitradurga MLA GH Thippareddy and MP A Narayanaswamy and other leaders, all of whom did not have a face mask on.
Karnataka has recorded 3,408 coronavirus cases. Religious ceremonies but with social distancing and masks are allowed in the state.
The health minister was later quoted by a media house stating that he had joined the programme impromptu on the urging of workers and that he had been appealing to them to follow social distancing norms.
He also said that he had covered his face with a muffler. The Opposition Congress criticised the health minister with MLA Raghumurthy asking whether there were special physical distancing guidelines for the BJP.