At a time when the country is facing vaccine shortage, a local MLA from Rajarajeshwari Nagar (R R Nagar) in Karnataka has been accused of diverting vaccines from hospitals to his private office.
RR Nagar BJP MLA N. Munirathna has also been accused of making it compulsory for the people to get tokens with his photo and name written in bold letters after they are vaccinated at his office.
Talking to IANS, Kusuma Hanumantarayappa, a Congress leader alleged that BJP MLA Munirathna has turned the government vaccination programme into a BJP vaccination one.
"When people go to Public Health Centre (PHC), they are welcomed with no stock boards and are asked to go to MLA's office for vaccination. It is compulsory to collect tokens distributed by his followers, without which they are turning away people," she alleged.
"This is happening throughout the constituency. We are planning to file a complaint on this and we are in the process of consultation and collecting evidence," she said.
"Vaccines should have been available for people free of cost at government facilities. But, now they have come to a position where they are made to obtain tokens and get vaccination," she added.
"There is no stock of vaccines at government hospitals. How are they available at MLA's office?," Kusuma questioned. She has shared the pictures of tokens given to people on her social media accounts.
She has attacked the BJP Karnataka unit for turning the vaccination drive into a political gimmick.
Vijay Kumar, Chief Engineer, BBMP Rajarajeshwari Nagar division, refuted all allegations of government vaccines being diverted to MLA office. "He must be giving it through sponsorship. We have been told to prioritise giving vaccines for those residing in the wards," he explained.
MLA Munirathna clarified that vaccination is being done at his office as it is convenient to all. He further stated that only voter identity cards are being asked to confirm that they are local residents.