After Mamata Banerjee on Saturday hit out at the Centre for sending “inadequate” number of COVID-19 vaccines, BJP national general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya alleged that she was trying to politicise the vaccination drive.
“She should stop politicising everything. None of the states has complained only she is complaining about it. She is trying to politicise the issue before the assembly polls,” Vijayvargiya told PTI.
Polls to 294-member Bengal assembly are due in April-May this year. BJP’s chief convener in West Bengal asked Banerjee to come clean on whether the state or the centre is providing the vaccines for free of cost.
“She earlier said that she will provide vaccines free of cost. The centre has already said that it would provide the vaccines for free but the TMC government jumped into it to claim credit,” he said.
When asked about Banerjee”s allegations of fewer vaccines being sent to the state, he trashed it as baseless. “The allegations are baseless. If the number of vaccines is falling short it is because of the TMC leaders and MLAs are queueing up to have it,” he quipped.
Letting her dissatisfaction known over the inadequate supply of COVID-19 vaccines supplied to West Bengal for the inoculation process, Banerjee said that her government, if needed, would supply the vaccines free of cost to the people of the state.
Banerjee said that she has already “requested the central government to supply adequate numbers of vaccines for not only the frontline workers but also for all the people of West Bengal”.
Two Trinamool Congress MLAs – Rabindranath Chatterjee and Subhas Mondal, took the vaccine doses in Purbo Bardhaman district Saturday triggering a political row. Authorities of the two state hospitals, where the vaccinations took place, however, insisted both legislators were members of the Patient Welfare Committees and figured in the selected list adhering to all selection procedures and no rules were violated.
Vaccination started at 212 centres across West Bengal on Saturday. A total of 6 lakh frontline workers will receive the Covishield vaccine.
According to Swasthya Bhavan, health officials at different levels alongside the district authorities have been given the responsibility to conduct the vaccination process without any snag.
Reportedly, the first day will witness more than 35,000 healthcare workers in West Bengal receiving the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, created jointly by Oxford and AstraZeneca and manufactured by the Serum Institute of India.
In Kolkata, SSKM Hospital, Kolkata Medical College Hospital, Neel Ratan Sarkar Hospital, R.G. Kar Hospital, School of Tropical Medicine and B.C. Roy Child Hospital have been selected as the vaccination hubs apart from five other KMC-run health centres.