Several TMC leaders, including two MLAs, were among the people who received the COVID-19 vaccine in Purba Bardhaman district on Saturday, the opening day of the nationwide vaccination programme.
The BJP on Sunday alleged that several TMC leaders in West Bengal were administered COVID-19 vaccines meant for healthcare personnel and frontline workers, resulting in a shortfall of doses in the state. Several TMC leaders, including two MLAs, were among the people who received the COVID-19 vaccine in Purba Bardhaman district on Saturday, the opening day of the nationwide vaccination programme. Many healthcare workers in the state had alleged that they could not get the jab though they were asked to come for it.
“The vaccines sent by the central government are for healthcare staffers, police personnel and other frontline workers who are serving the society in the pandemic situation. Nearly 3.5 crore vials were dispatched by the Centre across the country. These doses are not meant for political leaders. “If these vaccines were taken by some TMC leaders, there would be a shortfall,” BJP state unit president Dilip Ghosh told reporters.
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Some TMC leaders are so scared of their lives that they jumped the gun, violating the norms, he said. The Centre is targeting to vaccinate over three crore healthcare and frontline workers in the first phase of the inoculation drive for free. West Bengal Chief Minister and TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee had on Saturday expressed her dissatisfaction over “inadequate” supplies of COVID-19 vaccines to the state for the programme.
According to a state government official, Bengal was supposed to receive over 10 lakh vaccines in the first phase, but have got 6.89 lakh doses so far. Around 15,707 people were administered the first dose of the COVID 19 vaccine in the state on Saturday. The ruling party in the state accused the BJP of creating a controversy over the vaccination programme.
“The Centre is not adequately supplying COVID vaccines to West Bengal. It is keeping control over the supplies. If needed, the state government will bear the cost of administering the vaccine to every person in the state,” TMC secretary-general Partha Chatterjee said on Sunday. Alleging that the BJP had not joined the fight against COVID-19 in the state he said the saffron party’s only agenda is to “carry out personal attacks in the run-up to the assembly polls”. Elections to the 294-member Bengal assembly are due in April-May.