The Congress leaders in Karnataka say they have a Rs 100 crore plan to vaccinate the state’s population against COVID-19.

DKS and Siddaramaiah talking to reportersScreengrab
news COVID-19 Friday, May 14, 2021 - 14:22

The Congress party in Karnataka, on May 14, targeted the BJP-led Union and state government over the massive shortage of COVID-19 vaccines in the state. Led by Congress leaders like the president of Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee and former minister DK Shivakumar and ex-Chief Minister Siddaramaiah among others, the party claimed that it has a Rs 100 crore plan to vaccinate the state’s population at a faster pace. For this, they sought permission from the government to procure vaccines.

“Since Modi and BSY govts have failed to vaccinate most of Karnataka months after vaccine manufacturing began, we are ready to vaccinate people ourselves. We need immediate permission to procure vaccines,” said DK Shivakumar in a press conference in Bengaluru.

“The Congress wants to show Modi-Yediyurappa that it is possible to quickly vaccinate the masses. We just need permission to procure and use MLA/MLC development funds to buy vaccines. Since they can’t do it, they should let us do it,” he added.

DK Shivakumar said that out of the Rs 100 crore, Rs 90 crore will come from their party MLA and MLC funds and Rs 10 crore will come from their party.

He urged the norms for procuring vaccines be relaxed for them in the interest of Atmanirbhar Bharat, a term coined by the Prime Minister.

“Currently, the rules allow only state governments, hospitals and industries to procure vaccines in India. In the spirit of Atmanirbhar Bharat, Karnataka Congress should be allowed to procure directly from vaccine makers as well,” he added.

He asked that they be allowed to do this in the interest of the public, and appealed to the Prime Minister and the Chief Minister to not see politics in this.

Karnataka, like many other states, is facing a shortage of COVID-19 vaccines and has temporarily suspended the drive for the 18-44 age group in government centres.The Karnataka High Court has taken serious note of this crisis as well.

Starting May 1, the Union government had allowed vaccination for those between the ages of 18-44. The Union government only provided vaccines to state governments to use for the previous phases.