The Congress party alleged that the BJP government is driven by headlines and not deadlines.
The Congress party has asked the government to reveal the roadmap for vaccinating all Indians by the end of 2021. Union health minister Dr Harsh Vardhan has claimed that the country will have 216 crore vaccines by December 2021, enough to vaccinate the entire eligible population. The Centre has made a similar statement in the Supreme Court. Now, since the Centre has decided to bear the cost of vaccination and provide free vaccine jabs to all eligible individuals, the Congress questioned why people have to pay for the vaccines at private hospitals.
The Congress party alleged that the BJP government is driven by headlines and not deadlines. The opposition party also demanded transparency in the allocation of vaccines to the states. The party said that the government should follow the principle of cooperative federalism and there should be no discrimination in vaccine distribution. Addressing a press conference, Congress leader Jairam Ramesh said that the government should call a Parliament session for discussing the policy and approval of fresh budgets required for vaccinating all the people.
Ramesh claimed that there have been periods when BJP-ruled states have been favoured heavily in the allocation of vaccines and other essential medical supplies. He said that while 31 lakh vaccines were administered on Monday, the country will have to vaccinate around 80 lakh people daily in order to fully vaccinate 100 crore citizens by the end of December.
“The roadmap for this is not there. Which are the vaccines, when the vaccines are going to come, how the vaccines are going to be distributed, these are all issues that have to be done in a coordinated manner, in a cooperative manner, in a consensual manner, in a participative manner with the state governments, that was not in evidence. The Prime Minister did not shed any light on that yesterday (June 7), but, that is very important, how we reach 80 lakh doses when we did 16 lakh (per day) in May,” said Ramesh.
The party also questioned the government’s decision of mandatory registration on the CoWIN app saying that there are many who do not have digital access. Ramesh said that the Centre should make it non-mandatory. “We want non-mandatory Co-WIN registration for all vaccination centres. We want walk-in-registration, spot registration, whether it is a government vaccination centre or private vaccination centres,” said Ramesh.
— INC Sandesh (@INCSandesh) June 8, 2021
Replying to a question on Rahul Gandhi’s letter demanding to give states a greater say in vaccine procurement and distribution, Ramesh said that nothing was wrong with that. He said that the Centre should decide on vaccine procurement and distribution only after consulting the states.