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Cong demands sacking of K'taka minister for 'swimming' amid lockdown

Bengaluru,  An innocuous tweet with his children in a swimming pool at home landed Karnataka's Medical Education Minister K. Sudhakar in trouble, as the state unit of the Congress has now sought his dismissal for revelling amid the lockdown, a party official said on Monday.

"Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa should sack Sudhakar for behaving irresponsibly by spending time in a swimming pool amid the lockdown enforced to contain the coronavirus spread," state Congress spokesman Ravi Gowda told IANS.

The opposition party's demand came in response to a tweet Sudhakar posted on Sunday with a picture and the caption: "After a long time, joined my children for swimming… maintaining social distance here also, haha."

A doctor by profession, the 46-year-old minister is also in charge of the Covid-19 fight of the state government.

Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) President D.K. Shivakumar also sought Sudhakar's dismissal for ‘having fun' at a time when the people were reeling under hardship.

"When the state, including farmers and workers, is in distress and the police and the doctors are fighting day and night, our minister is having fun," Shivakumar tweeted in Kannada.

Sudhakar, however, deleted the tweet from the micro-blogging site after he received flak from the Tweeple.

Some Twitterati criticised him for his fun act amid the health crisis, while others defended him by tweeting that the minister also has a personal life.

"It is a matter of moral and ethical standards. He must resign on his own accord or the Chief Minister should sack him from the cabinet," asserted Shivakumar in a series of tweets.

The youngest minister in the eight-month-old BJP government in Karnataka got re-elected on the ruling party's symbol in the December 5 by-elections from the Chikkaballapur Assembly segment, about 60km northeast of Bengaluru, after resigning from the Congress as a rebel.

Sudhakar, a powerful Vokkaliga leader in the state's southern region, joined the Yediyurappa ministry on February 10 along with nine re-elected BLP legislators, who too resigned from the Congress and Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) government in July 2019 along with seven others.

The resignations of 14 Congress and 3 JD-S rebels led to the fall of the 14-month-old coalition government on July 23 after its Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy resigned following the defeat of the confidence motion he moved in the Assembly on July 18, 2019.
April 13 (IANS)

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