Centre Must Provide Free COVID-19 Vaccines To States: Mamata Banerjee
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday demanded the Centre provide free COVID- 19 vaccines to states and claimed that her counterparts in Odisha, Kerala and Delhi are in agreement over her stand.
Ms Banerjee also cast doubts on the union government’s assertion that it would administer COVID-19 vaccines to the entire population above the age of 18 by the end of 2021, terming the statement a “hoax”.
“The centre is not sending vaccines to states.”
Whatever little stock that is supplied, gets depleted within days… It must give free vaccines to state governments.
“Odisha’s CM Naveen Patnaik had called me on Tuesday night and agreed with my viewpoint,” she told reporters at the state secretariat.
Ms Banerjee added that chief ministers of Kerala and Delhi have spoken in favour of it, too.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi has also asked the centre to supply free vaccines to states to help the inoculation drive.
“The centre’s claim that it will vaccinate the entire population above 18 years by 2021-end is just a hoax. It keeps saying such things. Before the Bihar elections, they had promised to inoculate the state’s population after the polls, but nothing happened,” Ms Banerjee said.
“If you do not have the commitment towards it and made the statement to satisfy people temporarily, then that’s no solution…” she said.
The chief minister said her government has spent Rs 150 crore to procure vaccines, but only 1.4 crore of the state’s over 10-crore population could be inoculated so far.
The central government has maintained it expects to inoculate the country’s adult population by the end of the year.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)