New Delhi: Karnataka Health Minister he might be, but that didn’t stop BJP leader B Sriramulu from attending a procession, in which social distancing and lockdown norms, in place to curb the spread of COVID-19 pandemic, were flouted openly. Also Read - Better Late Than Never! Maharashtra, Karnataka Make Chewing, Spitting Tobacco Punishable Offence

A video of the said rally is now going viral on social media. Also Read - Lockdown in Karnataka: No Complete Shutdown in The State Tomorrow

Notably, the minister had gone to Parashuramapura in Chitradurga district to perform ‘Baagina’, an annual ritual at the Vedavathi river, in an open truck, surrounded by his followers. In the now viral video, some of the people moving alongside the truck can also be seen showering flower petals at the minister, who acknowledges their gesture.

Sriramulu, who is also the district in-charge minister, waved at his supporters, who raised slogans; the supporters had gathered without any social distancing, with many of them not even wearing masks.

In his defence, the minister said that he came at the event at the behest of the workers, adding that he himself was appealing to everyone to follow the rules of social distancing.

This comes at a time Karnataka, which earlier planned to reopen religious place from June 1, with SOPs in place, postponed it by a week after central government’s guidelines in this regard. As per the Union Home Ministry’s guidelines, places of worship can reopen from June 8.

Karnataka has thus far reported over 3,400 positive cases of coronavirus.