Karnataka's Chamarajanagar administration came under heavy fire after the launch of an initiative to boost inoculation in the district. The deputy commissioner of Chamarajanagar district, M R Ravi, announced a new initiative to encourage people to get vaccinated. It is the initiative's slogans that sparked outrage among the people, which instantly led to its withdrawal.
Ravi had revealed on Wednesday that the administration launched two slogans, which cornered people into getting the jab or risk losing certain facilities. The officer said the vaccination drive was launched with the slogans "no vaccination, no ration" and "no vaccination, no pension," affecting nearly 3 lakh BPL and Antyodaya cardholders.
"We've also given the slogan of 'no vaccination, no pension'. We have around 2.20 lakh pensioners in (Chamarajanagar) district. We have instructed all the banks in this regard. These measures are part of our efforts to vaccinate everyone in the district," MR Ravi added.
These slogans drew criticism from the Congress, with party's K'taka chief DK Shivakumar slamming the administration for the proposal of making COVID vaccine mandatory to avail ration and pension benefits. He said the move was "unconstitutional."
No order passed
After the backlash, the administration issued a clarification saying it was only an oral statement and that there is no official order to launch the initiative. Moreover, the departments won't be making it mandatory for the public to show vaccine certificates to avail pension or ration.
Responding to the criticism faced by the opposition, the district authorities said there's no need to rescind the orders when they haven't been issued in the first place.