BELAGAVI: Under fire from the opposition for announcing free Covid-19 vaccination for the Bihar electorate in its Assembly poll manifesto, leaders from the ruling BJP in Karnataka are now in a damage-control exercise.
Deputy Chief Minister Dr C N Ashwath Narayan on Saturday declared in Belagavi that the State Government will provide Covid-19 vaccination free of cost to all the people of Karnataka once it is ready after successful trials.
Speaking to media persons at Belagavi airport, Ashwath Narayan hit out at former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah for challenging the government to announce free Covid-19 vaccination for the people of Karnataka. “The State Government is already treating Covid patients free of cost and all health care facilities to people from all classes are being provided,” he pointed out.
Siddaramaiah politicising free vaccine issue: Ashwath
“The government has taken these decisions in the interest of people and to control Covid-19 from spreading,’’ DyCM Ashwath Narayan said. Once a Covid-19 vaccine is successfully tested and gets the official nod, the State Government will give it to the people free of cost, he reiterated.
To a question on why his party announced the free vaccine for the people of Bihar ahead of the elections there, he reasoned, “It has been done to take the people into confidence and give them hope of coming out of the crisis.
But our opposition leader here (Siddaramaiah) is politicising the issue to gain some mileage out of it.” On Siddaramaiah’s objection to reopening of degree colleges, Ashwath Narayan said, “He too was Chief Minister earlier and I didn’t expect such a reaction from him. Colleges are being restarted after considering the prevailing conditions and by taking all the necessary safety precautions.’’ There will be online and offline classes and students, in consultation with their parents, can opt for either of them, he stressed.
He claimed that the guidelines drawn up for the offline study system has been welcomed by students and parents. “The opposition parties, which never carried out any task effectively during their tenure in the past, should stop teaching us now, he said.