Tribune News Service
New Delhi, June 4
The BJP on Friday attacked the Punjab government led by Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh over allegations that the state profiteered on Covaxin shots by getting them for Rs 400 a dose from the Centre and selling it to 20 private hospitals at Rs 1,060 a dose.
Union information and broadcasting minister led the charge against the Congress led state government accusing it of “committing a sin by disregarding the needs of people at the altar of their own internal rifts.”
“A strange kind of politics is playing out in Punjab. The state continues to be affected by Covid. Covid management leaves much to be desired. The required level of government involvement needed for Covid testing is also not there in Punjab. Internal factionalism has been bogging down the Congress government in Punjab for about six months. The entire party and the government have been camping in Delhi for the past four days.
So who will care about the people? Disregard of the people at the altar of internal party politics is a big sin of the Congress,” Javadekar Javadekar said on Friday.
He said Congress leader Rahul Gandhi should put his own house in order in the state ruled by the Congress rather than lecture others on vaccine policy.
“Dangerous and disturbing reports coming out of Punjab suggest the state government got 1,40,000 Covaxin doses, which they sold to 20 private hospitals for Rs 1,060,” said the minister.
He asked “What kind of people’s governance is this where the state government wants to make profits on a vaccination drive for Covid? And Punjab is charging people Rs 1,500. Government of India has given free 22 crore doses to states till now.”
Javadekar said Punjab was among the states that first sought decentralisation of procurement of vaccines and now want centralisation.
“They change their stand everyday. Punjab government should urgently address people’s concerns. This is the principal urge of the people of the state,” the union minister added.
Back in Delhi, CM Amarinder Singh ducked questions on the subject as he met the AICC panel on Punjab issues.
It was later, Punjab Health Minister Balbir Singh Sidhu said that his department does not deal with vaccine procurement or distribution.
It is under the Chief Secretary or Covid Vaccine Nodal Officer Vikas Garg.
He said that the health department only tests the quality of vaccine and then administers to public. He said that after the reports, he has already ordered an inquiry into the matter and the responsibility should be fixed.
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