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Published On: Thu, Oct 22nd, 2020

MP Follows Tamil Nadu, Bihar To Announce ‘Free COVID Vaccines’

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covacxineNEW DELHI/ MP,TN: After BJP announced ‘Free vaccines to all’ in its poll manifesto in Bihar, the saffron party’s Madhya Pradesh CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Thursday, announced free vaccines to all state subjects. There has been no word from the Centre on the matter of vaccine pricing, though it said it was expecting a vaccine by early next year.
Claiming that the Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation in the state was ‘completely under control’, Chouhan said that the vaccine was being prepared at a great pace in the nation. Polling for the vacant 28 seats in MP Assembly is scheduled to take place on November 3 while the results are slated to be declared on November 10.

Earlier in the day, AIADMK leader and Tamil Nadu CM E Palaniswami (EPS) announced that the state government will provide free vaccines to all whenever such a vaccine was available. Similarly.
The Congress, DMK have lashed out at BJP’s Central government for such an announcement, with Rahul Gandhi telling ‘Kindly refer to the state-wise election schedule to know when will you get it’.

The BJP’s promise for free coronavirus vaccine in Bihar’s election manifesto today speedily snowballed into a huge controversy, with opposition parties questioning how a life-saving vaccine can be used to get political mileage in elections.
The matter also resonated on social media, where much censure collected under the #vaccineelectionism hashtag. By late evening, two other states BJP-ruled Madhya Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, where the ruling AIADMK is a BJP ally promised free vaccine to the people when it comes.
The latest state to promise free vaccine is Madhya Pradesh. Amid the growing controversy, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan tweeted: “My countrymen, we have taken many effective steps to protect the public from #COVID19. Today it is completely controlled. The preparation of Corona vaccine is going on fast in India, as soon as the vaccine is ready, it will be made available to every citizen of Madhya Pradesh for free.”
The state’s opposition DMK, which is trying to get back to power, said it would be the one to implement Mr Palaniswami’s promise. Party spokesman A Saravanan said, “We would win elections and it will be the DMK government that would give free COVID vaccine in Tamil Nadu next year”.
This morning, Union Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had unveiled the BJP manifesto in Bihar, saying, “As soon as a COVID-19 vaccine is available for production at a mass scale, every person in Bihar will get free vaccination”. It was the “first promise” mentioned in our manifesto, the minister said.
The Congress was among the first to protest, with Rahul Gandhi, Shashi Tharoor and other leaders tweeting. “GOI just announced India’s Covid access strategy. Kindly refer to the state-wise election schedule to know when will you get it, along with a hoard of false promises,” Mr Gandhi’s tweet read.
Delhi Chief Minister and Aam Aadmi Party leader Arvind Kejriwal questioned if people who do not vote for BJP get the free vaccine. “What about non-BJP ruled states? Indians who didn’t vote BJP will not get free Covid vaccine?” he said.
National Conference leader Omar Abdullah questioned why Bihar should get free vaccines while the rest of the country has to pay. “Will BJP be paying for these vaccines from the party treasury? If it’s coming from the government treasury then how can Bihar get free vaccines while the rest of the country has to pay?
” he posted.
Former Union minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal, whose party, the Shiromani Akali Dal, quit the government and the NDA over the controversial farm laws last month, called the BJP move “ridiculous”. “Free vaccine only in Bihar? It’s ridiculous! Does the whole country not pay taxes or are they not equal citizens of India?” Harsimrat Kaur Badal tweeted.
Top Bihar BJP leader, Bhupinder Yadav said the vaccine would be available at a nominal cost not free but it would be up to states to bear the cost. “Your (the Congress’s) attempt to twist Nirmala Sitharaman’s statement reeks of desperation. All parties issue manifestos. Vaccines will be made available to all Indians at nominal costs. States can make it free. In Bihar, we will,” he wrote.
(With Bureau Reports).



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