- Congress, NC attack BJP for using Covid fears for elections
- Bihar BJP leader says free vaccine to be supplied to all States
- Rahul Gandhi asks people to refer to election schedule
- Shashi Tharoor asks EC to rap on the knuckles of the govt.
BJP’s election promise to provide Covid vaccine to all the people in Bihar free of cost has been criticised by all the Opposition parties across the country. The promise was the first item in the BJP manifesto for Bihar elections. The manifesto was released by Union finance minister, Nirmala Sitaraman on Thursday. She said the vaccine would be supplied to every household in Bihar as soon as it is made available by the drug industry.
Many countries have been working overtime to produce carona vaccine and the vaccine is yet to be finalised after the trials on human beings. This is the first time that a political party has promised to supply the vaccine that is yet to be figured out. Even in New Zealand where national elections took place recently, the political parties did not promise the supply of vaccine. But the people of that country have elected the same Labour party for acting promptly to arrest the spread of Carona virus. ‘Look at the election schedule and you will know which State would get the vaccine when,’ said Congress leader Rahul Gandhi sarcastically.
Shashi Tharoor, the Tiruvanantapuram Congress MP, said the Election Commission should have rapped the shameless government on the knuckles. Omar Abdullah, former chief minister of Jammu & Kashmir, said that the government perhaps intends to pay for the vaccine from its treasury since it was announced by finance minister. ‘It is a blatant populism,’ commented Omar. The party in power both in Delhi and Patna has been trying to exploit the fears of Covid among the people, he said.
Bhupinder Yadav, BJP leader from Bihar, has responded to Shashi Tharoor’s tweet by saying that the government would supply the vaccine at nominal price and not free of cost. He said it will be supplied to all Indians not just for the people of Bihar. Amit Malaviya of the BJP IT Cell tweeted saying that like all programmes BJP will provide the vaccine for nominal price and it would be for the respective States to decide whether to supply free or for nominal cost. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has chaired a number of meetings on the question of the availability of the vaccine and the ways and means to supply it to the States. But there was no clarity yet on the date of finalisation of the vaccine and its mass production.