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Arvind Kejriwal hit out at Centre over vaccine shortage

He appealed to Prime Minister Modi to procure vaccines from all across the world and distribute them to the states as manufacturing firms have refused to sell to states directly, saying that they would talk to the Centre only.

IANS | New Delhi |

Amid shortage of Covid vaccines across the country, Delhi Chief Minister and Aam Aadmi Party chief Arvind Kejriwal on Wednesday continued to blame the BJP-led Central government for the situation.

In a fresh attack on the Narendra Modi government, he said if people in the country were vaccinated on time, the impact of the second wave of the pandemic could have been less and so many people would not have had to die.

Addressing a digital press conference, Kejriwal said: “We have already delayed our vaccination drive for six months as several countries had started inoculating their citizens at a mass level. We committed a big mistake. Rather than inoculating our own people, we started sending doses to other countries.”

The Centre should have vaccinated all people on war footing, he said. “We could have started this in December itself. But we didn’t,” he added.

Kejriwal argued that the Centre should have ordered vaccines from abroad when the second wave started in March, while alleging that states were told to make arrangements by themselves.

“From the past two months, every state is trying to arrange vaccines but, none of them has been able to procure an extra single shot of the vaccine from manufacturers, excluding those which have been given by the Centre. States also floated global tenders to buy vaccines on their own, but they all failed,” he noted.

He appealed to Prime Minister Modi to procure vaccines from all across the world and distribute them to the states as manufacturing firms have refused to sell to states directly, saying that they would talk to the Centre only.

“We (state governments) will fulfill every responsibility alloted by you (PM Modi). But how can we do something which is not under our purview. Centre has to fulfill its own responsibilities. You (Centre) provide vaccine doses as per the requirement of the states, we will inoculate our people,” Kejriwal said.