Bengaluru: As pro-Kannada groups decided to go ahead with Karnataka bandh on December 5 against the establishment of the Maratha Development Corporation(MDC), Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa on Saturday asked them to withdraw it, as he warned against any forceful enforcement.

Asserting that he was for Kannada and Kannadigas, Yediyurappa said, "I'm ready for all that is required to be done for Kannadigas, but it is not right to call for bandh for some other reason, people will not appreciate it."

Speaking to reporters here, he said he will not allow forceful enforcement of bandh anywhere.

"I'm observing the burning of effigies and bad behaviours. we will have to take strict action. Let them protest peacefully, but the government will not tolerate attempts to give it a different turn," he added.

Pro Kannada organisations at a meeting on Friday had decided to go ahead with the bandh on December 5 as planned earlier, and have set a November 30 deadline for the government to withdraw its decision to establish Maratha Development Corporation.

Terming the bandh call 'unnecessary,' Yediyurappa had earlier too warned pro-Kannada groups against forcing a bandh on the people of the state.

He had even clarified that the decision to set up a Maratha Development Corporation had nothing to do with the Marathi language, and it is for the Maratha community residing in the state.

Noting that his government was making all honest efforts to provide justice to all the sections of the society, Yediyurappa on Saturday said, there is no room for discrimination.

"Let them (Kannada groups/activists) understand this and withdraw their bandh. I request the activists for cooperation with folded hands," he added.

Kannada activists have been opposing the creation of Maratha Development Corporation, ever since the government mooted the move earlier this month.

It has now been approved by the cabinet also.

The government had earlier announced the setting up of the Maratha Development Authority, but subsequently changed it to corporation, as authority has to be constituted by a law, by passing an act in the legislature.

The creation of the corporation is seen as a move by the BJP to woo the Maratha community that has considerable presence in the Basavakalyan assembly constituency also Belagavi Lok Sabha constituency, which is due for a bypoll.

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Bengaluru, May 13: The Karnataka government on Thursday announced floating a global tender for procuring two crore COVID-19 vaccines owing to supply shortage.

Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa said a Task Force has been set up to oversee the preparation for a probable third wave of COVID-19.

"The state has placed a purchase order for three crore doses of vaccines, two crore doses of Covishield and one crore doses of Covaxin.

We are floating global tenders for an additional two crores," Yediyurappa told reporters here.

He was briefing them about the various measures initiated by his government to deal with the pandemic and improving the health infrastructure in the state.

On the occasion, he said the government was appointing Prof Kang as an adviser on vaccination strategy.

"She Prof Kang is a member of several advisory committees for the World Health Organisation (WHO), mainly related to research and the use of vaccines," he added.

According to Yediyurappa, so far 1.10 crore doses have been supplied by the Centre, of which 99.5 lakh are Covishield vaccines and 10.9 lakh are Covaxin.

He said that 14.87 lakh beneficiaries have completed 6 weeks after taking the first dose of Covishield vaccine and are eligible for second one, whereas 5.10 lakh beneficiaries have completed four weeks after taking the first dose of Covaxin.

Thus, a total of 19.97 lakh people are eligible for second dose as on today.

The state government had on Wednesday announced suspension of the vaccination drive for people between the age group of 18 and 44 years due to the shortage of vaccine.

It said the available stock will be utilised to vaccinate people who are due for second dose.

The Chief Minister also explained the various measures adopted since the outbreak of COVID in the state last year.

He claimed that the recent lockdown-like restrictions brought down the infections in the state from over 50,000 to less than 40,000 now.

To meet the increased oxygen requirement, the government decided to increase the supply of Liquid Medical Oxygen (LMO), massive scaling of localised generation capacity through oxygen generators and large scale procurement of concentrators and cylinders.