Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister (DCM) Dr. CN Ashwath Narayan had organized a Covid-19 Vaccination camp exclusively for Hindu Priests from the Brahmin community in his Malleswaram Constituency notes a compalint filed at the Malleswaram Police Station.
Compalinant, while speaking to the media after filing the complaint has also noted that SCs were not provided vaccines on that day. When they questioned the authorities about the same and attempted to record the happenings at the site on their phones, BJP party workers actually attempted to snatch their phone too. The incident happened on 29th May. However, the issue has come to light only yesterday after the National Social-Media Coordinator of the All India Congress Committee, Lavanya Ballal tweeted about it.
Lavanya tweeted “DCM Dr Ashwath Narayan, does a special vaccination drive for priests in Malleswaram. And this lead to a huge fight at the Vaccination Center. Vaccination has become caste-based. Will this kind of vaccination be done for other castes? Kuruba, gowda, chetty vaccination drive??”
DCM @drashwathcn does a special vaccination drive for priests in Malleswaram. And this lead to huge fight at the vaccination Center.
Vaccination has become caste based
Will this kind if vaccination be done for other castes ?
Kuruba, gowda, chetty vaccination drive?? pic.twitter.com/WAWLM38U78
— Lavanya Ballal | ಲಾವಣ್ಯ ಬಲ್ಲಾಳ್ (@LavanyaBallal) June 1, 2021
News18 Kannada had reported that the camp was organized at a girls’ school in Malleshwaram in Bengaluru.
Case Filed against DCM Ashwath Narayan
A case was filed at the Malleswaram Police Station against DCM Ashwath Narayan and other BJP Party workers. The complaint filed by Block Congress President noted that DCM Ashwath Narayan who had inaugurated the Vaccination programme has ensured that people from only one community are vaccinated. BJP Party workers stopped other people waiting for their turn to be vaccinated and asked them to visit the Corporation hospital to be vaccinated. When people tried to record the whole incident, the BJP Party workers tried snatching mobile phones and picked-up a fight. The complaint demands that BJP party workers at the site and initiate actions against them.
Speaking about the issue, MLC and Ex-MP BK Hariprasad expressed his anger and said that Vaccination is being done on the basis of caste. Vaccines are being provided on the basis of caste at Malleswaram Girls’ High School. He also alleged that a group of Dalits were turned away when they reached the spot to get vaccinated. They were asked to go to the Corporation hospital to get vaccinated. DCM Ashwath Narayan is implementing caste-based vaccination drives in his Malleswaram constituency. It is not fair to provide vaccines to people belonging to only one caste. He said the issue was ‘quite-upsetting’. When our party workers tried complaining about it to the police, they were reluctant to even receive the complaint. The police must work for the country, not for BJP leaders.
Responding to the allegations made by Congress leader BK Hariprasad, DCM Ashwath Narayan has responded that “The Congress party members have always been skeptical ever since the Covid-19 vaccination drive was initiated. Now, they are for no reason politicizing the vaccine issue. We do not have any intention to bring in the issue of caste while vaccinating people.
However, this is not the first time that the state BJP leaders have been named in controversies pertaining to vaccination of drive. Earlier, BJP MP from Bangalore South constituency, Tejaswi Surya was the poster-boy for the private vaccination drive run-by ‘Vasavi Hospital’. This raised questions of how a public servant and his office could promote vaccination drives run by private entities. Just a few days ago, another BJP MLA S. Raghu was accused of diverting vaccines from a Primary Health Centre (PHC) to a Kalyana Mantapa (Marriage Hall) that he owns to administer them to BJP party workers and their family members.