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‘What does PM stand by’: Rahul on Centre’s ‘not vaccinating entire country’ stand

The centre on Tuesday said its priority will be to first vaccinate a critical mass of the population and break the chain of transmission of the virus, indicating that the entire population may not be mandatorily vaccinated.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: December 3, 2020 2:29:31 pm
Rahul Gandhi, Recession, Recession in India, India in recession, Rahul Gandhi on recession in India, RBI report on recession in IndiaSenior Congress leader Rahul Gandhi. (Express photo: Amit Mehra/File)

Days after the Centre clarified that it had never spoken about inoculating everyone with the COVID-19, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi attacked the prime minister over the different statements from the NDA.

Taking to Twitter, the former Congress president cited the differences in statements of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the government and the BJP on the anticipated vaccine for the COVID-19 and asked what does the prime minister stand by. “PM — Everyone will get vaccine. BJP in Bihar elections — Everyone in Bihar will get free vaccine. Now, GOI — Never said everyone will get vaccine. Exactly what does the PM stand by?” Gandhi said in a tweet.

The centre on Tuesday said its priority will be to first vaccinate a critical mass of the population and break the chain of transmission of the virus, indicating that the entire population may not be mandatorily vaccinated. During the weekly briefing on the pandemic, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan reiterated that the “government has not spoken about vaccinating the entire country”. “Important to get factual information on these (on vaccinating the entire population),” Bhushan said.

Last month, while campaigning for the Bihar Assembly elections, BJP promised “residents of Bihar” free vaccination against Covid-19. Defending its announcement, the BJP said it’s a pledge on a public health issue. Releasing the party manifesto in Patna, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said: “After crossing all the stages, there are at least three vaccines that have reached the last stage, and are on the cusp of production. After this, if scientific people say this vaccine is fine, production can take place. Our production capacity, because of the government’s intervention, is very large.”

The announcement drew sharp reactions from Opposition parties, most of which said it was “appalling” that a vaccine to fight the pandemic was made being a poll agenda.

India’s COVID-19 caseload went past 95 lakh today. The total coronavirus cases mounted to 95,34,964 with 35,551 new infections being reported in a day, while the death toll climbed to 1,38,648 with 526 new fatalities. Over 4.2 lakh cases are active, while 89.73 lakh people have been discharged.

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