Making Karnataka government’s stand clear on Kerala-Karnataka border issue, Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa on Saturday (April 4) said opening the state’s borders to Kerala at this point in time will be like “embracing death”.
The Chief Minister said interest of the people of the state was supreme. Yediyurappa made this clear in a letter to former Prime Minister and JD(S) patriarch H D Deve Gowda. Gowda had recently written to the Chief Minister on March 31 seeking relaxation of the border restrictions on “humanitarian” grounds.
Earlier, Deve Gowda had also written to Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan expressing his anguish against Karnataka authorities for imposing restriction.
Stating the decision to close the border was not sudden, Yediyurappa said, it was a conscious decision after analysing the health situation in the area following the spread of COVID-19.
The Chief Minister cited the Indian Medical Association, Mangaluru branch data regarding the spread of COVID-19 in Kasargod of Kerala and surrounding areas which was alarming. Noting that the region has nearly 106 positive COVID-19 cases, he said, “this is the region with most number of infections in the country.”
If this restriction is removed, it puts the health of the people of Karnataka to risk and create a situation of “embracing death”, so we will not be able to open the border, Yediyurappa said.
He also clarified that there was no prejudice behind his government’s decision, and the interest of the people of the state was of utmost importance.
“…There is also no political maliciousness. We want to have good and brotherly relationship with neighbouring states,” he said.
Yediyurappa also thanked opposition parties for their support to his government in its fight against COVID-19.
The Kerala High Court had directed Karnataka to open the borders for the transport of essential vehicles like ambulances and food trucks but it refused.
Karnataka later approached the Supreme Court to put a stay on the High Court order. The Supreme Court has sought responses from the Centre and the Kerala government on the plea of Karnataka.
(With inputs from agencies)