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‘What About Punjab, Raj?’ – Union Min on Rahul’s Vaccine Criticism

Hardeep Puri responds to Rahul Gandhi’s vaccine criticism by bringing up vaccination controversies in Punjab

Updated
Politics
2 min read
File image of Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri.
i

Union Minister for Civil Aviation Hardeep Singh Puri took a jibe at Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, who questioned the central government’s vaccination policy and the pace of inoculation.

Responding to Gandhi, Puri brought up the state of vaccination in Congress-ruled states of Punjab and Rajasthan, instead of answering the questions posed to the central government.

“Rahul Gandhi asks where the vaccines for our children are. Vaccines are in the garbage in Rajasthan and in Punjab, profits are being made out of vaccines. This is the culture of the Congress.”
Hardeep Puri

Punjab Govt Faces Flak From Akali Dal On Vaccination

Punjab government found itself at the centre of a storm this week after Sukhbir Badal, chief of the opposition Akali Dal, said the state government had re-sold 40,000 doses of Covaxin at "hefty margins".

As per the NDTV report, Badal said the doses had been purchased at ₹400 per dose and sold to private hospitals for ₹1,060 per dose – a “profit” of ₹660 per dose. 

The hospitals sold it at ₹1,560 per dose. Soon after the backlash, the Congress government on Friday withdrew the order providing “one-time limited vaccine doses to 18-44 age group population through private hospitals.”

Gandhi has been consistently asking tough questions of the central government on its vaccination policy. While continuing his criticism of how the Modi-led central government failed to foresee the COVID crisis, he said that the impact of the second wave could’ve been lesser had the government rolled out the vaccination in time.

Last month, he said that a COVID-19 vaccine-treatment protocol should already have been in place for children in the country.

“In the time to come, children will need protection from Corona. Paediatric services and vaccine-treatment protocol should already be in place," the Congress MP had tweeted.

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Rahul Gandhi Criticises Centre For Slow Pace of Vaccination

On 24 May, Gandhi had criticised the government for not “paying necessary attention” to the slow pace of the vaccination drive across the country and reiterated that it is the only way the COVID-19 pandemic can be controlled.

The Wayanad MP’s words come close on the heels of states like Karnataka, Maharashtra and Delhi closing vaccination drives for those in the age group of 18-45 years due to the shortage of vaccine doses.

Congress hit out at the Centre on Sunday over its handling of the vaccination drive and asked the Union health ministry to produce district-wise, and not state-wise, data of the jabs being delivered every day, citing the latter as a tactic to hide “alarming facts.”

(With Inputs from NDTV)

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