Rahul Gandhi urges Modi Government for equal access to a vaccine by all states battling Covid-19 surge
On Friday, in a letter addressed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Rahul Gandhi urged that the central government to open “vaccination for everyone who needs it” amid the ongoing surge in the Covid-19 cases in the country. He also asked the government to stop the export of coronavirus vaccinations on an immediate basis. The Congress leader also raised the need for the BJP-led central government to double “central allocation for vaccine procurement from the existing ₹35,000 crores”.
Rahul Gandhi’s letter came a day after several state governments voiced facing the challenge of vaccine shortage while battling rising cases. He slammed the centre for undermining the efforts of the country’s scientific community and vaccine makers by its “poor implementation and oversight”.
Pressing on the need for a well-managed, universalised and speedy inoculation drive, the Kerala MP said, “Our vaccination program has to move beyond an individual’s picture on the vaccine certificate, towards guaranteeing maximum vaccination.” He warned that at the present rate of inoculation, “it will take years to inoculate 75 per cent of the population. This will have catastrophic effects and will gravely decelerate India’s economy”.
The Congress leader questioned the Modi government over its decision to export the vaccines. He said, “While our nation is facing vaccine starvation, more than six crore doses of vaccines have been exported… Was the export of vaccines also an ‘oversight’, like many other decisions of this government, or an effort to garner publicity at the cost of our own citizens.”
He added, “There is no clear reason as to why the government permitted large scale exports of vaccines. While our nation is facing vaccine starvation, more than six crore doses of vaccine have been exported… The state governments are repeatedly highlighting vaccine shortages only to receive intemperate statements by the Union Health Minister targeting opposition-ruled states, undercutting cooperative federalism, which you too have stressed as essential.”
Former Congress President also took a shot at PM Narendra Modi, who asked the state governments to celebrate “vaccination utsav” from April 11 to April 14, marking birth anniversaries of Jyotiba Phule (April 11) and B R Ambedkar (April 14). On Friday, Gandhi tweeted in Hindi, saying, “Shortage of vaccine in view of the rise in Corona cases is a very serious problem and not a celebration.” PM asked the state to ensure 100 percent vaccination for 45 plus population in their high-impact districts.