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Sunday, September 19, 2021

Karnataka: Chamarajanagar scraps ‘no vaccination, no ration, no pension’ initiative after backlash

Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee president D K Shivakumar slammed the district administration for the proposal to make Covid-19 vaccination mandatory for ration and pension.

Written by Darshan Devaiah BP | Bengaluru |
Updated: September 2, 2021 8:14:05 am
On Tuesday M R Ravi, deputy commissioner of Chamarajanagar district, announced the launch of the initiative to fight vaccine hesitancy. (File Photo)

The Chamarajanagar district administration in Karnataka has withdrawn a controversial Covid-19 vaccination initiative — “no vaccination, no ration”; “no vaccination, no pension” — that was to start Wednesday after criticism from the Congress.

On Tuesday, the deputy commissioner of Chamarajanagar district, M R Ravi, had announced the launch of the initiative in a bid to fight vaccine hesitancy. After the move was criticised by the Congress, Ravi issued a clarification Wednesday saying that “there is no official order issued by our district administration regarding the ‘no vaccination, no ration; no vaccination, no pension’ initiative and there will not be any kind of this programme in the district”.

Ravi had earlier told the reporters that he had observed that people were becoming complacent and unwilling to go for the Covid-19 vaccine. “The district has about 2.90 lakh BPL (PDS) cardholders and nearly 2.2 lakh pensioners. We are insisting that the beneficiaries voluntarily take the vaccines to be eligible for the ration supplies or pension,” Ravi said on Tuesday adding that the district administration would start a drive with the controversial slogan from Wednesday.

Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president D K Shivakumar slammed the state BJP government and the district administration stating the move was “unconstitutional”.

Shivakumar tweeted, “In Chamarajanagar, the BJP Govt says it won’t give ration or pension to those not vaccinated. But are there enough vaccines? Have they persuaded people to take vaccines? Such denial of basic food and pension is illegal, unethical, unconstitutional.”

“BJP government and Chamarajanagar administration have no shame. Their incompetence resulted in 36 deaths due to a lack of oxygen. They want to punish those who don’t take the vaccine, but they should first apologise for not arranging oxygen, vaccines, tests, compensation for deaths,” he added.

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