BJP-ruled States Favoured in Covid-19 Management: Shiv Sena in Lok Sabha

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A view of the Lok Sabha. File photo used for illustrative purposes only.

On Covid-19 vaccination, Shiv Sena member Vinayak Raut accused the Centre of allocating vaccine doses to BJP-ruled States in excess and at the cost of non-BJP ruled States

NEW DELHI — The Lok Sabha on Thursday began discussion on the Covid-19 pandemic and various aspects related to it in the country, with members of the opposition accusing the Modi government of favouring BJP-ruled States in allocation of vaccines. They also dubbed the celebrations over the 100-crore vaccination mark as premature.

Initiating the debate, under Rule 193, Shiv Sena member Vinayak Raut lamented that Parliament was discussing the issue 21 months after the outbreak of the disease and at a time when cases were on the decline.

On Covid-19 vaccination, Raut accused the Centre of allocating vaccine doses to BJP-ruled States in excess and at the cost of non-BJP ruled States, reports PTI.

“The Prime Minister’s responsibility is for the entire 130 crore population. It should not be so that you look at Maharashtra with a sly glance, help Gujarat in good measure and make maximum allocations to Uttar Pradesh because it is going to polls. Allocations should be made on the basis of the population,” the Sena leader said.

Only a third of Indians have received both doses of the vaccine so far, said Vinayak Raut urging the government that there should be specific guidelines on the new Omicron variant and demanded close co-ordination among State governments and the Centre.

“There should be clarity in the Centre’s directives on Omicron,” the Lok Sabha member from Ratnagiri-Sindhudurg in Maharashtra said.

Hitting out at the government, Raut claimed that the amount of vaccine doses supplied to different states was not according to their respective population, and that if the government had ramped up production of Covaxin, which has a gap of only 28 days between doses, India would have seen faster, higher rates of vaccinations.

He also described as “premature” the celebrations in India over crossing the 100 crore milestone in COVID-19 vaccinations.

“Till date, only 38% of the population has received both the doses of vaccines. Should we be satisfied with this? We cannot launch premature celebrations for 100 crore doses,” Raut said.

Raising the issue of PSA plants in the country, the Shiv Sena member said the Prime Minister had made an announcement of setting up more than 1500 PSA oxygen plants at hospitals across the country, but in reality only 316 plants were functional.

“But for the rest, only foundation stones were laid and the plants were not operational,”  Vinayak Raut said.

“We were in need of PSA plants, ventilators and drugs, but at that time the 60 per cent ventilators under the PMCARES scheme were not working, therefore, the companies responsible for this mess, should be punished as they have broken the trust between government and people,” said Raut, according to IANS.

The Sena leader also raised the issue of private hospitals overcharging COVID-19 patients, particularly during the second wave of the pandemic.

BJP’s Ratan Lal Kataria taking part in the discussion praised Modi government saying government has done a marvellous job during the pandemic, citing the vaccination milestones, hospital and lab testing infrastructure in the country.

Kataria said that as a new variant of the COVID-19 virus has emerged, there is a need to be more cautious and follow all protocol properly. “It is not the time to sit comfortably, we have to be vigilant,” he said.

Attacking Opposition parties, Kataria said it has become a habit of some political leaders to to only criticise Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

He said Opposition has a role in democracy and they should play that role, but when it comes to serving humanity, do not politicise it. “They should encourage people engaged in the fight against the pandemic,” he said. — Agencies

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