April 12, 2021 5:29:00 am
Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram on Sunday hit out at the BJP government over its Covid-19 vaccination strategy, saying that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call to chief ministers to organise a “tika utsav” is nothing but “rhetoric and hyperbole” to cover up the way the Centre has “messed up” management of the production and supply sides of the vaccines.
With several states reporting vaccine shortages, the Congress has been aggressively questioning the Central government’s inoculation strategy. Congress president Sonia Gandhi had Saturday argued that the government has mismanaged the situation, exported vaccines and allowed a shortage to be created in India.
“What does one say when the government wants to call the vaccination drive an ‘utsav’? By no stretch of imagination can it be a festival. The vaccination drive is a crusade. Having messed up the management of the production and supply sides of the vaccines, the government is covering up its massive failure through rhetoric and hyperbole,” Chidambaram tweeted.
Chidambaram reiterated the Congress’s demand for universal vaccination. Senior Congress leader Rahul Gandhi had last week written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi asking him to place an immediate moratorium on export of vaccines, fast track approval of other vaccines and open up vaccination to everyone who needs it.
Chidambaram said the vaccination drive must be a “walk in programme” and not carried out through pre-registrations.
“We were the first to demand universal vaccination and get rid of the silly app and the need for pre-registration. Vaccination must be a walk-in programme. Government must immediately provide funds to ramp up production in India and increase supplies. Government must also authorise the use of more approved vaccines and allow their manufacture or import,” Chidambaram said.
He also questioned the strategy of allowing only two vaccines – Covishield and Covaxin. “We have a duopoly of two vaccines, but they are hardly sufficient to vaccinate a nation of 138 crore people,” Chidambaram posted.
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