Modi govt was ‘dragged into’ providing free COVID-19 vaccinations by oppn: Cong


PTI, Apr 5, 2024, 10:02 AM IST

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The Congress on Friday claimed that the Modi government was ”dragged into” providing free COVID-19 vaccinations on the insistence of the opposition and the Supreme Court, and said it is hard to forget the ”extent of the mismanagement” that occurred during the pandemic.

Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh said the BJP has been touting free COVID-19 vaccinations as a big achievement.

”The truth is the Modi Sarkar was dragged into doing so by the insistence of the Opposition and the intervention of the Supreme Court. Aap chronology samajhiye: On April 18, 2021, Dr. Manmohan Singh writes to the Prime Minister, urging him to clarify vaccine policy – which until then was chaotic and not systematized – and giving him well-thought out suggestions on how to maximise vaccinations,” Ramesh said on X.

On April 19, 2021, the Union government announced the ”Liberalised Pricing and Accelerated National COVID-19 Vaccination Strategy” which made the vaccination of citizens between 18 and 44 years the responsibility of the state governments – decidedly not a universal free immunization scheme, he said.

On May 12, 2021, 12 leaders from the Opposition wrote a joint letter to the prime minister where they demanded a ”free, universal mass vaccination campaign”, Ramesh pointed out.

On May 31, 2021, the Supreme Court termed the Modified Vaccination Strategy ”arbitrary and irrational” and ordered the Modi government to review it by June 13, 2021, he said.

”It was only then, on June 7, 2021, that PM (Narendra) Modi announced a universal vaccination programme,” Ramesh said.

”It is hard to forget the extent of the mismanagement that occurred during the COVID-19 pandemic: the corpses that choked the Ganga, the acute shortages of oxygen, the indignities and chaos of the vaccinations,” he alleged.

Ramesh said no amount of ”propaganda” will erase the pain of lakhs of families across India.

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