MLA Ravi Subramanya denies allegations of ‘vaccine trade’

Published - May 29, 2021 09:42 pm IST - Bengaluru

Ravi Subramanya

Ravi Subramanya

Two audio clips have gone viral in which a representative of a private hospital in south Bengaluru is heard telling persons questioning the steep price of vaccine (₹900) that the hospital had to pay ₹700 to MLA Ravi Subramanya, who had “arranged the vaccine. This has drawn allegations of “vaccine trade”, which Mr. Subramanya denied as “baseless” and part of a “political conspiracy”.

In one clip, in which social worker Venkatesh is heard calling up the hospital, the representative is heard asking him to register for vaccination at Mr. Subramanya’s office. The female voice is heard saying that it was Mr. Subramanya who had procured the vaccine and the money would go to him.

The State Congress has alleged that the audio tape indicates that Mr. Subramanya was caught in a “vaccination commission scam”. Opposition leader Siddaramaiah on Saturday demanded why there was no action against another hospital, where MP Tejasvi Surya (nephew of Mr. Subramanya) was “selling” vaccines at ₹900.

Mr. Surya, the Bengaluru South MP, and his uncle Mr. Subramaanya, the Basavanagudi MLA, have been associated with paid vaccination drives (₹900 a jab) at a private hospital. Questions have been raised as to how private hospitals championed by BJP legislators have been able to procure vaccines when government centres are not been able to do so.

However, Mr. Subramanya, who visited the hospital on Saturday, denied all allegations and said he had not helped any hospital procure vaccines. “I have been working to vaccinate frontline workers in the constituency through the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike. I will file a criminal case against the person who falsely claimed I was supplying vaccines,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Hanumanth Nagar Block Congress Committee has filed a complaint with the DCP, South division, seeking a detailed probe into the matter.

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