Bihar polls: Baghel hits out BJP over free vaccine promise


PTI, Oct 22, 2020, 4:29 PM IST

Raipur: Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel on Thursday accused the BJP of politicizing public health by promising free COVID-19 vaccine in its manifesto for the upcoming Bihar Assembly elections.

Baghel also said the poll promise implies that citizens of the states where elections are not being held will have to pay for the vaccine.

“NDA manifesto says free vaccine for Biharis. This is a poll promise BJP and JDU have made. Note: A Manifesto is a list of promises to be delivered If the govt comes to power then they are politicising health of citizens with #VaccineElectionism,” Baghel tweeted.

“With this poll promise @bjp4india has implied that the citizens of other non-election states will have to pay for the vaccine,” the chief minister said in another tweet.

Chhattisgarh Health Minister TS Singh Deo also slammed the BJP for its poll promise and demanded that the Election Commission of India (ECI) take cognisance of the matter.

“Free Covid vaccine is the right of every citizen of my country. Surprised to see this being pitched as a poll promise by BJP in Bihar,” the minister tweeted.

“The @ECISVEEP must take suo moto cognisance as the Modi Govt can’t be selective about free access to Covid Vaccine depending on electoral results,” he added.

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday released the BJP’s manifesto for the Bihar Assembly polls with a slew of promises, including free COVID-19 vaccine once it has been cleared by the ICMR.

“The NDA government in Bihar has set an example before the country in the fight against corona. It’s our resolve that once the vaccine against the coronavirus has been cleared by the ICMR, we will make it available to the people of Bihar free of cost,” said the manifesto.

Assembly polls in Bihar will be held in three phases on October 28, November 3 and November 7.

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