A day after Mamata Banerjee announced free COVID-19 vaccine for every citizen in West Bengal, BJP’s IT-Cell chief Amit Malviya accused the former of “rushing to take credit” for Centre’s effort.
The West Bengal Chief Minister’s announcement came on the same day the central government declared that the vaccination drive in the country would begin on January 16.
Banerjee made the declaration in an open letter to to the healthcare workers and police officials in the state.
Malviya on Sunday tweeted, “Pishi was a disaster when it came to managing Covid. From doctors to policemen, everyone protested against Chief Minister’s apathy.”
He added, “But now that the center has announced free priority vaccination for 3 crore frontline workers across the country, Pishi is rushing to take credit.”
However, it was not clear from BJP’s Information & Technology department’s National in-charge’s tweet if the central government would provide free vaccines to all the citizens of the country as the Union Health Ministry has not made such claims yet.
Mamata Banerjee, on the other hand, declared that after the frontline workers, every other citizen in West Bengal would be provided with the coronavirus vaccine as well.
Thanking the frontline workers for their service during the COVID-19 pandemic, Banerjee in her letter said, “I’m extremely delighted to announce that our government is working to arrange free vaccines for everyone in this state.”
Meanwhile, her decision was followed by political reactions soon after. Many in the opposition camps raised eyebrows if the declaration was a dole to the Bengali citizens ahead of the much-talked-about State Assembly election later this year.
The question of budgetary has also come up as experts estimated a burden of around Rs 5,000 crore on the state’s cash-strapped treasury for free vaccination drive of 10 crore citizens in Bengal.
But the Mamata Banerjee-led administration is confident of accomplishing the target, reported Bengali daily Anandabazar Patrika.
The government asserted that all of people would not be vaccinated at one go and since it would be a time-taking method, the financial load would be manageable.