BJP Promises Free Vaccination in Bengal; TMC Recalls Bihar ‘Jumla’

Derek O’Brien said in a video statement, “BJP’s free vaccine jumla comes with two phases to go in Bengal.”

BJP Promises Free Vaccination in Bengal; TMC Recalls Bihar ‘Jumla’

The Quint DAILY

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COVID-19 vaccines seem to have become a new carrot for elections. A day after the Trinamool Congress (TMC) announced free vaccination for all adults in West Bengal, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) promised the same, triggering reactions from the TMC.

Last year, too, during the Bihar election campaign in October, when the first COVID wave was at its peak, the BJP had promised free vaccination for the people of Bihar, where Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s Janata Dal (United) and the BJP are in an alliance.

The BJP on Friday, 23 April, tweeted saying, "As soon as BJP government comes to power in West Bengal, COVID-19 vaccine will be provided free of cost to everyone."


TMC Announces ‘Free Universal Vaccination’

On Thursday, the TMC had announced free vaccination in a tweet saying, “Free universal vaccination for everyone above the age of 18 post 5 May.”

Reacting to the BJP’s claim, TMC quickly pointed out that the BJP forgot about its promise of free vaccination in Bihar as soon as it came to power in November last year. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's party alleged that if the BJP comes to power, it will forget Bengal too.

‘Buying Votes’

Trinamool leader Derek O'Brien said in a video statement, “BJP's free vaccine jumla comes with two phases to go in Bengal. Remember what BJP did in Bihar? They announced during the election free vaccines. Nothing happened, elections finished, they forgot. Don't believe the BJP, don't trust the BJP.”

Meanwhile, the Election Commission (EC) of India on Thursday released an order imposing stricter curbs for the remaining phases, in view of the COVID crisis in the country. Both Prime Minister Narendra Modi and CM Banerjee cancelled their rallies in view of the same.

Though there have been several requests to combine the polling phases considering the COVID situation, the elections have continued as per schedule. The remaining two phases will be held on 26 and 29 April. The counting of votes will be done on 2 May.

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