Updated: June 22, 2021 3:32:06 am
Accusing the BJD-ruled state government of appropriating Central schemes, BJP workers protested at at least three vaccination camps across Odisha over the absence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s photograph at the inoculation centers.
In a series of tweets, Union Minister Pratap Sarangi also targeted the BJD-ruled state government. “The practice of appropriating the creditable initiative of the central government by the government of Odisha continues unabated. Projecting the free COVID19 vaccination programme of the Central government as its own and hijacking the same by putting only photographs of CMO_Odisha, point to cheap politics.”
Calling the BJP’s protest and allegations as a part of their “nasty politics”, health minister Naba Kishore Das told The Indian Express, “It is unfortunate that the vaccination campaign was turned into a political gimmick by the BJP as a part of their nasty politics… Centre today has agreed to provide vaccination doses to the state after we wrote to the Centre… CM Naveen Patnaik should be credited for taking a foremost stance in the matter. It is a federal system and the CM is supreme in the state. In our fight against Covid, we must rise above these trivial issues.”
In Balasore district, the inauguration of a vaccination camp was briefly disrupted after BJP workers placed a cut-out of the PM at the venue to mark their protest. “We saw that there were no photographs of the PM or acknowledgement that the Centre is now providing vaccines to the states,” said BJP State Secretary, Sipra Vajpayee.
Outside the District Health Headquarters in Koraput district, ruckus ensued after a banner by a local NGO displaying pictures of the CM, private secretary to the CM VK Pandian and Chief Secretary Suresh Mahapatra surfaced. The Chief District Medical Officer (CDMO) was briefly gheraoed by the BJP workers prior to the inoculation drive. “Everyone is aware of the fact that Odisha was unable to vaccinate maximum people after it failed to acquire vaccines on its own,” said Gautam Samantray, BJP leader from Jaipur in Koraput.
Meanwhile Odisha on Monday crossed 1 crore vaccination doses, administering 1,68,153 doses on Monday.