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Won’t take ‘BJP vaccine’, says Akhilesh Yadav; attracts flak

Asked about Saturday’s vaccination dry run in the state, he said mockingly, “What Corona? Who has Corona here? The government is not accepting that there is Corona. Then why are they doing this dry run?"

Written by Asad Rehman | Lucknow | January 3, 2021 4:20:58 am
Akhilesh Yadav, Samajwadi Party, Akhilesh yadav on covid vaccine, up latest news, up corona vaccination camp, Lucknow news, indian expressSamajwadi Party President Akhilesh Yadav . (PTI/File)

Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav on Saturday said he would not take the “BJP’s vaccine”, and that when “our government” comes to power, everyone would be vaccinated for free.

Following criticism, he subsequently tweeted that he had “full confidence” in the ability of scientists, but he would not take the BJP’s “political vaccine”.

Main toh nahi lagwaunga abhi vaccine. Maine apni baat keh di. Aur woh bhi BJP lagayegi uska bharosa karunga main? Arre, jao bhai. Arre, apni sarkar ayegi, sabko free vaccine lagegi. Hum BJP ka vaccine nahin lagwa sakte (I will not get the vaccine now. I am telling you about myself. Am I going to trust a vaccine given by the BJP? Oh, get lost. When our government comes, everyone will get the vaccine free),” the former Chief Minister said at a press conference in Lucknow.

Asked about Saturday’s vaccination dry run in the state, he said mockingly, “What Corona? Who has Corona here? The government is not accepting that there is Corona. Then why are they doing this dry run? When did the government accept Corona? They only accept it when the Opposition does something.”

On the arrangements for the inoculation exercise, the SP chief said, “This government, which was getting rid of Corona by banging thalis and clapping, why does it need to arrange freezers and cold chains? They should just bang thalis and clap. Corona will go on its own. Why does a government that clapped and banged thalis and flew helicopters over hospitals, need such an elaborate cold chain? You and I are sitting here without masks. Covid is only for the Opposition, so that we are unable to do anything.”

Criticising the government’s response to the pandemic, Akhilesh said: “What jobs have they given? The Chief Minister first said that 4 lakh jobs were given, then 15 lakh, and then 1.5 crore jobs… No one got jobs.” Adityanath, he said, was only inaugurating infrastructure such as the Metro that had been built by the previous SP government. “He is inaugurating the same thing thrice,” Akhilesh said.

Reacting to the SP chief’s statement about the vaccine, BJP state chief Swatantra Dev Singh tweeted, “The ‘BJP’s vaccine’ to end gunda raj and corruption has proved to be effective. Which vaccine are you talking about, Akhilesh Yadavji?”

Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya said, “Akhilesh Yadavji, by refusing to get the coronavirus vaccine, you have in a way not just disrespected the country’s government, but you have also disrespected the country’s scientists and doctors who have worked day and night to prepare the vaccine, for which the whole country and the world was waiting.”

Akhilesh subsequently tweeted: “I have full confidence in the ability of scientists, but I do not trust the BJP’s unscientific clapping-and-banging plates thinking, and the BJP government’s arrangements for the distribution of the vaccine, which have remained paralysed during the pandemic. We will not get a shot of the BJP’s political vaccine. The SP government will give the vaccine for free.”

At the press conference, referring to the anti-conversion ordinance brought by the state government to curb so-called “love jihad”, Akhilesh said, “In Uttar Pradesh, there is a scheme by which you can claim Rs 50,000 for an inter-religious marriage or an inter-caste marriage. Then what is this law that you are bringing in?”

Asked about the suicides by protesting farmers, he said, “I would like to congratulate our farmer brothers… The Samajwadi Party is with the farmers at every step of their struggle. Our party is facing cases at several places [for holding protests]. We will keep giving voice to the farmers of the country.

“The farmers of Punjab, Haryana and other places are saying the right thing about MSP. The BJP had said they would double the income of farmers. Farmers are saying that they should get MSP which would double their income. The way this government lies and makes false promises… I have never seen this before.”

Asked if there will be promises relating to religion in the manifesto of the SP for the 2022 Assembly elections, Akhilesh said, “I am very religious. There is a temple in front of my house, inside my house. The CM residence that I vacated has a beautiful temple built by me. This is nothing new.”

On law and order in the state, he said: “Has UP seen the highest number of fake encounters or not? Has the state not seen fake encounters on the basis of religion and caste? Has the state had the most custodial deaths or not? Has the NHRC served the most notices to the state government or not? The UP government has been instructed to give compensation for fake encounters. Has this happened or not? Has the court not said that UP has jungle raj? Are our daughters and sisters not facing crime…? Never before has the state seen such injustice.”

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