Centralised Vaccine Policy: BJP Ministers Hail PM; Oppn Credits SC
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday, 7 June, announced centralisation of the COVID-19 vaccine drive.
Shortly after Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday, 7 June, announced centralisation of the COVID-19 vaccine drive and said that all vaccines will be procured by the Centre and given to the states for free, Twitter was abuzz with reactions.
While many, including a barrage of leaders from the ruling party, expressed gratitude to PM Modi for the move, others thanked the Supreme Court of India, stating that it is the apex court that ought to be credited for the Centre's “u-turn.”
A Slew of ‘Thank Yous’
Home Minister Amit Shah took to Twitter to hail the step as important “towards making India corona free.” He also claimed that with the Government bearing the responsibility of 25% of the vaccination work, “people will get the vaccine soon and the misconceptions related to it will also be put to an end.”
From Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri, Haryana Chief Minister ML Khattar to BJP MP Gautam Gambhir, a number of leaders came forward to applaud the (re) centralisation of the vaccine policy, and to thank PM Modi for it.
“I express my gratitude to PM Modi for the decision of free vaccine to States, it will not put an additional burden on the States. Free vaccination for all above 18 will go a long way in defeating a possible third wave of COVID-19.”Haryana Chief Minister ML Khattar, according to ANI
'Der Aaye Durust Aaye': Others Thank SC
Meanwhile, Congress Leader Rahul Gandhi has asked "if vaccines are free for all, why should private hospitals charge for them?"
Yet others, including Chhattisgarh Health Minister TS Singh Deo, Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader Sitaram Yechury and Aam Aadmi Party's Raghav Chadha said that this decision should have been taken months earlier, and has only been taken now after the Supreme Court pulled up the Centre.
“Free vaccination for all should have been implemented six months ago but ‘Dair aaye durust aaye’. Central govt should not have made any changes in the vaccine policy earlier. 25% of vaccine doses allotted to private hospitals are a lot.”Chhattisgarh Health Minister TS Singh Deo
“After being pulled up by Supreme Court, Centre took this decision, we welcome it. Our demand was also to run a national immunisation drive, which was overlooked. After constant gruelling by SC, Centre has finally woken up.”Raghav Chaddha to ANI
The Supreme Court had on Wednesday, 2 June, termed the Centre’s “Liberalised Vaccination Policy” as “arbitrary and irrational”, as it does not provide free vaccination for those in the age group of 18 to 44 years.
The observation was made by a Bench comprising Justice DY Chandrachud, L Nageswara Rao, and S Ravindra Bhat in the suo moto case on COVID related issues.
The top court observed, “Due to the importance of vaccinating individuals in the 18-44 age group, the policy of the Central government for conducting free vaccination themselves for groups under the first two phases, and replacing it with paid vaccination by the state/UT governments and private hospitals for the persons between 18 to 44 years is, prima facie, arbitrary and irrational,” LiveLaw reported.
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