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Two leaders in north Bengal drop out of the list of vaccinated people on Day One

The politicians said they would get the jab when it is available for people at large
Anit Thapa reached Kalimpong district hospital on Saturday but then announced that he would get vaccinated only when it becomes available for the public
Anit Thapa reached Kalimpong district hospital on Saturday but then announced that he would get vaccinated only when it becomes available for the public
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Vivek Chhetri, Anirban Choudhury   |   Darjeeling, Alipurduar   |   Published 17.01.21, 01:46 AM

Two prominent political leaders in north Bengal volunteered to drop out of the list of vaccinated people on the Day One of the drive citing they would get the jab when it is available for people at large. 

Anit Thapa, chairman of the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) from the Binay Tamang faction of the Morcha, which has been a Trinamul ally since 2017, had recently announced he would be the first to take the vaccine in the hills. Thapa reached Kalimpong district hospital on Saturday but then announced that he would get vaccinated only when it becomes available for the public.

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“The doctors and medical experts told me that the vaccine was for health workers and there was no need to cast any doubt on the vaccine,” said Thapa, before explaining that he had earlier planned to be the first to take the shot to build confidence among health workers and dispel vaccine-related fears among the masses. 

On his change of heart, Thapa said: “Instead of me, one more health worker can get vaccinated. The vaccine has been approved by the WHO and by the government of India.”

In Alipurduar, Trinamul MLA Sourav Chakraborty also declined to take the jab though he had been listed as the first person supposed to receive the shot in the district on Saturday.

Alipurduar district health officials claimed that MLA Chakraborty had been included in the list as he was the chairman of Rogi Kalyan Samity. But some others said that his name was put on the list because he uses the prefix Dr. However, Chakraborty is not a physician but a PhD.

Contacted, the MLA said he was in no mood to take the vaccine now. “I refused the vaccine. I will take it along with the common public,” he said.



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