Updated: May 14, 2021 10:58:59 pm
IN REFERENCE to a photo of Prime Minister Narendra Modi printed on the Covid-19 vaccination certificate issued to beneficiaries, deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar on Friday said one should think about how much “self-publicity” one should do.
“If you go to a petrol pump to refill your vehicle tank, the photo exists there as well. What can we do? Might be the photo is for, you refilling the fuel tank by paying Rs 100 per litre with him (Modi) as witness,” Pawar said on the issue.
Asked if his certificate carried the photo as well, Pawar said, “It is not different for me. If every citizen in the country, including me and you, has been made to accept the certificate mandatorily with a printed photo then what. They are elected democratically, so they have brought this,” adding, “one should think about how much self-publicity one should do. We never put any person’s photographs on certificates being issued to citizens. Our only thing is to think on how to bring a person out of the difficult situation.”
About complaints by legislators that beneficiaries residing in other places were getting inoculated in their electoral area, while local residents were unable to get their dose, he said, “It has been observed that citizens from one tehsil or district travel to other places to get vaccinated. This is because the entire process of vaccination is online. Any person can get vaccinated anywhere as the process is online. This has led to vaccine shortage in certain areas for local citizens.”
Pawar also said the only way out was if vaccine producing companies increased their production capacity, and that the issue will be resolved only if there was adequate supply.
The deputy chief minister said he did not want to politicise decentralisation of vaccine distribution in the country.
“The entire world is facing the problem of pandemic, so is India. We have seen how our country’s image has got spoiled. We are getting help from foreign countries with cargo planes landing one after another with supplies. Whenever the nation is in trouble, the head of the country considering it as a national problem should ensure that the entire country, Kanyakumari to Kashmir and Gujarat to West Bengal, should be distributed vaccines appropriately,” he added.
On the state government’s plan to spend Rs 6 crore to publicise decisions taken by him on social media, Pawar said he had directed the administration to cancel the plan. “The moment it was brought to my notice, I ordered to cancel it. There is no need of taking service of private agency for publicity when there is a dedicated publicity department of the state government,” he said.
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