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Karnataka: 'I didn’t feel like wearing mask', says forest minister Umesh Katti after controversy

His remarks created an outrage even as the Covid cases showed no signs of easing.

Shankar Raj | Updated on: Tuesday, January 18, 2022, 08:28 PM IST

Umesh Katti
Umesh Katti
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In the midst of a massive third wave of the coronavirus sweeping across Karnataka, Forest Minister Umesh Katti stirred a controversy by not wearing a mask at a function held by the Forest Department in Belagavi and dragged Prime Minister Narendra Modi into the picture.

In a video that has become viral in Karnataka, the minister was heard saying “Yesterday, the PM himself said that he will not make anything mandatory. It is the individual’s responsibility to wear a mask. In that way, it is left up to me too. I didn’t feel like wearing it (a mask), so I didn’t wear it.”

His remarks created an outrage even as the Covid cases showed no signs of easing. On Monday, Karnataka reported 27,156 fresh Covid infections and 14 deaths, taking the total caseload and fatalities in the state to 32,47,243 and 38,445 respectively.

Bengaluru Urban district led the spike in cases in Karnataka, with 15,947 infections and five deaths.

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Published on: Tuesday, January 18, 2022, 08:28 PM IST