Rahul Gandhi slams the Modi government’s vaccine strategy equates it to the demonization
On Wednesday, Rahul Gandhi slammed the central government’s strategy towards Covid vaccination. He equated it to the Modi government’s infamous demonetisation plan, which Gandhi said aided only the industrialists and made poor people suffer more. The Congress party leader called the COVID vaccine policy as “discriminatory and inequitable”.
In his tweet, the Kerala MP wrote, “The central government’s vaccine strategy is no less than the demonetisation. The common people will stand in queues, will suffer loss of wealth, health and life and in the end only a few big industrialists will benefit.”
Day after Gandhi’s critical remarks, his mother, Sonia Gandhi, also rebuked the BJP-led government for its new vaccination policy, saying the government has “abdicated its responsibility of providing free vaccines to people between 18 and 45”. On Monday, central government announced its universal vaccination policy, which aimed at providing free vaccination to all above 18 years of age.
The Congress president, hit at the centre’s decision to divide the vaccination procurement into two parts: half of supply for the Centre, and rest half for the open market. It implied that all the other entities ranging from state governments, private hospitals to industries would have to procure Covid vaccination directly from the manufacturers. Soon after the announcement, the Serum Institute of India, which developed the Covishield vaccine, set different prices for centre and others. Its price list revealed that the said vaccine would cost the centre government – Rs 150, state governments – Rs 400 and private hospitals – Rs 600.
In a letter addressed to PM Narendra Modi, Sonia Gandhi stressed, “At a time when medical resources are scarce, hospital beds are unavailable and oxygen supply and availability of essential medicines are dwindling rapidly, the government shouldn’t allow a policy that reeks of insensitivity. Even with regards to 50% quota for vaccines available with the Centre, the allocation must be transparent and equitable.”
The Congress leader urged the government to re-evaluate its policy and pressed for adoption of “uniform price”. She added that the country’s goal should be to vaccinate all of its citizens “irrespective of their economic circumstances”.