On Friday afternoon, Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa had announced a ban on firecrackers for Diwali. However, hours later, the Karnataka CM appears to have taken a U-turn. A few hours after announcing the ban, the Chief Minister’s Office released a letter telling the people that they are allowed to sell and use green firecrackers during Diwali.
After the Karnataka government called for the ban on bursting firecrackers, there was major backlash on social media. People trolled the government for its decision and called Yediyurappa anti-Hindu. This backlash may have played a role in the BJP-led government reversing their decision.
The Karnataka Chief Minister has maintained that the state had taken all steps to contain the Covid-19 pandemic. “We have taken steps to ban firecrackers during this Diwali but people can use green firecrackers if they want to,” Yediyurappa said.
He further adds that the government had taken every possible step to organising several major festivals in a subdued manner and even now, the government is appealing to the people once again to choose simple celebrations instead of grand ones. “We are taking such steps only in the interest of the people’s health,” the Chief Minister concluded.
Karnataka had joined the list of states to ban firecrackers following Rajasthan, Odisha, and Sikkim. On Monday, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot was the first to take the decision to ban the sale and bursting of firecrackers to protect the health of Covid-19 patients and the public from the smoke. The state government announced a penalty of Rs 2,000 on anyone found violating the order.
On Wednesday, the Sikkim government announced a blanket ban on firecrackers to protect the health of Covid-19 patients and those who have recovered from it. Meanwhile, states like Haryana and Madhya Pradesh have banned the sale and distribution of “imported” firecrackers.