Opposition-ruled states misleading people on vaccines, says BJP

As several states complained about shortage of vaccine, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) blamed opposition-ruled states for allegedly misleading people. The party said that first the opposition demanded a liberalised vaccine policy and when states were empowered to procure directly and the vaccination group was expanded, they are again complaining.

The BJP on Thursday released a video of statements of Congress leaders and Health Ministers of opposition-ruled states. In a video, the health ministers of Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh, and Congress leaders were seen questioning the efficacy of the vaccine in January this year.Sharing a three-minute video on Twitter, National in-charge of BJP’s Information and Technology department, Amit Malviya, said: “India is in the midst of a pandemic. Its scientists raced against time to produce a vaccine. They were reviewed at different levels before being given emergency use approval so that lives could be saved. But the opposition, Congress is particular, mocked it. Result: people died.”

On the demands of several opposition chief ministers to allow other manufacturers to produce vaccines, Malviya tweeted, “India was among the first to get its own vaccine. Opposition mocked it, promoting vaccine hesitancy. Now after the second surge, everyone wants the jab. But there is only so much production capacity. Vaccine isn’t jam that anyone can produce. So we have to schedule and prioritise.”

Referring to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s tweet that Indian states were left to compete/fight with each other in the international market, BJP National General secretary (organisation) B.L. Santhosh tweeted, “But you were one of the protagonists of the liberating vaccine programme . Why this stand now Arvind Kejriwal? Hypocrisy unlimited thy name the Aam Aadmi Party.”

Malviya further tweeted, “Opposition ruled states are misleading people on vaccines saying the centre is deciding when they get vaccines and how much. That is untrue. Centre has allocated vaccines to states for 45+/frontline health workers in proportion to population. Vaccine companies using a similar matrix.”

Taking a dig at opposition demand for a liberalised policy, Malviya said, “First the opposition demanded a liberalised vaccine policy, higher say for states in procurement. They also wanted to extend it to a wider age group. Centre agreed. States were empowered to procure directly and the vaccination group was expanded. Now states are struggling, complaining.”

On Tuesday, BJP President J.P. Nadda, in a letter to Congress interim President Sonia Gandhi, had lashed out at her party and said, “Throughout last year, when our scientists, doctors and innovators were racing against time to find a vaccine, your party leaders left no opportunity to mock these efforts.”

“A vaccine that is made in India should be a matter of national pride. Instead, Congress leaders tried to ridicule it and create doubts in the minds of people. Even a Chief Minister belonging to your party indulged in such antics. In a nation that has almost no recent history of vaccine hesitancy, your party has the dubious record of trying to actively create it, that too, in the middle of a once-in-a-century pandemic,” Nadda had written to the Congress interim president.–IANS