On August 12 , Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj S Bommai said he would issue an order to ban the guard of honours given to him and other ministers at airports or public places during the visits. Earlier last week, Bommai had banned gifting bouquets, shawls, garlands and memorabilia at government functions and asked them to be replaced with books.
It (guard of honour) is not required at the district level every time I visit. I will issue a direction soon after going to Bengaluru," Bommai said. As per the government sources, Bommai told officials in Mangaluru that they are not required to put up such a "pompous show".
This comes after the Chief Minister, chairing a meeting with senior police officials, refused to accept the flower bouquet on August 10. Subsequently, he issued a circular that directed officials not to give shawls, flower bouquets, fruit baskets and memorabilia at meetings and events organized by the state government or government-run organizations. He termed the practice of giving bouquets and garlands in the name of the protocol as "unnecessary expenditure". All the state government heads and government undertakings have been asked to follow the new directions.
Recently, V Sunil Kumar, who took oath as Energy and Kannada & Culture Minister, had appealed not to give him garlands and gifts and asked for Kannada books, which would be donated to a library in his constituency.
SIFA Stages Protests
However, the South India Floriculture Association (SIFA) members and flower and fruits growers and vendors have staged protests against the ban introduced by Chief Minister Bommai, reported Times Now. They have demanded the withdrawal of the order issued by Bommai. SIFA has called the order "unscientific" and said it is a direct assault on the flower-growers who were heavily affected during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The decision has triggered debates across Twitter and other social media platforms, with some hailing the decision while others take the side of the flower and fruits growers and vendors.