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Candles, diyas flicker as lights go off in Karnataka (Lead)

Monday - April 6, 2020 12:18 am , Category : INDIA
Bengaluru, April 6 (IANS) Lakhs of oil lamps and candles flickered for 9 minutes from 9 p.m., as lights went off in thousands of homes across Karnataka, including India's tech hub on Sunday.
Responding to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's call, lakhs of people switched off their electrical lights and lit lamps or candles outside their home or in balcony across the state.
Thousands of people from all walks of life also held high in their hands torchlights or mobile phones with flashlight switched on, standing afar for social distancing, as advised by Modi in a 9-minute audio/video message to the nation.
There were, however, many people in the state who did not switch off lights or lit lamps or candles, as they did not believe in Modi's call and termed the exercise futile, as the deadly diseases will not burn by the heat generated by oil lamps or wax candles.
Governor Vajubhai Vala, Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa, his cabinet ministers and hundreds of the ruling BJP's cadres joined the people in lighting the lamps.
"Vala lit the lamp at 9pm on the roof terrace of Raj Bhavan," said a communique from the governor's office.
"It is again resolved that we are one and will fight against corona together," he said.
Janata Dal-Secular supremo and former Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda, also switched off lights, lit lamps and stood for 9 minutes from the balcony of his residence here.
"Gowda has promised to cooperate with the government in fighting the virus when Modi spoke to him earlier in the day from Delhi," a party spokesman told IANS here.
Ironically, his third son and former Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy slammed Modi for indulging in theatrics and making the people light lamps when they were facing hardship due to the lockdown.
Yediyurappa, however, lauded Modi for involving the common man in the fight against the virus and uniting the people in expressing solidarity with the corona warriors across the country.

--IANS fb/vd