Bengaluru: Karnataka Congress on Thursday urged the state government to announce a financial package and come to the rescue of those, whose livelihood is affected by the COVID-19 induced lockdown.
The principal opposition party in the state, also demanded that the Centre should completely bear the expenses of the vaccination and the state government has to put pressure in this regard.
“Our demand is that Rs 10,000 should be given to every family (BPL), fertiliser price should be reduced, compensation should be paid to vegetable and flower growers who have incurred losses. Financial package should be given to those artisans and others who are affected by the lockdown,” state Congress president D K Shivakumar said.
Speaking to reporters here, he said, a financial package has to be given, bankers meeting should be called and interests should be waived.
“If not, suicides will increase and they (government) will be responsible for it…hospital bills have to be waived,” he added.
Amid the rising Covid-19 cases in the state, the Karnataka government has imposed a complete lockdown in the state from May 10 to May 24.
Shivakumar urged the state government to put pressure on the centre to bear the cost of the vaccines and administer it to people free of cost.
“Why should the state’s money be spent on it? State should spend on what it has to do. The Central government should bear the entire cost of the vaccine, this is the policy world wide,” he said.
Citing polio vaccination as an example, he said “the centre has to take the responsibility of vaccination and not the state… I don’t know why they are pushing it on the state. None of these people (in the state govt) have the courage to speak. Twenty-five BJP MPs are there from the state, god save them, are they raising their voice for the sake of people?”
Hitting out at the state government for its handling of the vaccination drive, the KPCC chief said, the state government has completely failed at all levels.
“They are unable to run things, there is complete lack of planning…,” he added.
Karnataka on Wednesday had decided to temporarily suspend vaccination for the 18 to 44 age group from May 14 till further orders, and to utilise the complete supply of vaccines provided by the centre for vaccination of persons above 45 years of age and for vaccinating beneficiaries who were due for a second dose.
Shivakumar said the state government should take up the moral responsibility for the Chamarajanagar hospital tragedy, pointing out that the three-member committee appointed by the Karnataka High Court to probe the incident has stated in its report that all the 24 deaths on the intervening night of May 2-3 occurred due to lack of oxygen.