- Pratap Sarangi said that all people of the country would be given free COVID vaccine.
THD Newsdesk, Bhubaneswar: Union Minister Pratap Sarangi on Sunday said that all people of the nation would be given free COVID vaccine, amidst the request by opposition parties in the country in poll-bound Bihar as declared by the BJP.
The BJP’s announcement of free COVID vaccine for Bihar, where assembly polls commence this week, had kicked up a discussion with the opposition parties splitting into the NDA government, alleging that the ruling party was using the pandemic for political purposes.
Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had said the decision was in order as it was an election manifesto announcement.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has declared that all people will be given free of cost vaccines. An estimated ₹ 500 odd will be spent on each person’s vaccination, Mr. Sarangi told reporters after addressing a campaign meeting for the November 3 assembly by-poll in Balasore.
PM Modi had in a televised address to the nation on October 20, said that Indian scientists are developing several vaccines at different stages of clinical trials and the results seem encouraging.
Mr. Sarangi, the union minister of state for animal husbandry, dairy, fisheries, and micro, small and medium enterprises, vocalized in reply to a question raised by Odisha Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare Minister, RP Swain.
In the day, Mr. Swain sought clarification from Dharmendra Pradhan and Sarangi, the two union ministers from Odisha, asking them for their silence on their party BJP’s stand on free COVID-19 vaccination for the people of the state along the lines of the one being promised in Bihar.
Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh, Assam, and Puduchchery have already announced free of cost COVID vaccines for their states’ people. In contrast, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has demanded free vaccines for all citizens across the country.
Mr. Swain had tweeted, “I am asking questions to two Odisha union ministers from Balasore soil to clarify as to why the people of the state will not get free of cost COVID vaccine. The union ministers should clarify BJPs stand on the corona vaccination in Odisha.”
On the state government’s steps for vaccination, Mr. Swain said it has signed an agreement with a vaccine company and is authorized to stretching the facility to all state people.
However, he did not say whether the state government will provide the vaccine to the people free of cost.
BJP deputy leader in Odisha Assembly Bishnu Charan Sethi said the Centre has been supporting Odisha fully during the pandemic and has granted ₹ 22,000 crores for the scheme.
“But large scale lapses have been detected in the utilization of the fund,” he alleged.