'For a few industrialists': Rahul Gandhi compares vaccine policy with note ban
Drawing a parallel between the Modi government's decision of demonetisation and making Covid-19 vaccine available in the open market with 'liberalised' pricing, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday said that both the decisions are alike as they both benefit a few industrialists.
Though the Congress leader, who has recently tested covid positive, has been pitching for allowing the vaccine to all those who need it, instead of limiting it to a specific age group, Rahul Gandhi criticised the decision of letting vaccine makers declare their price as it would affect the poor, he said.
The common man will have to stand in a queue, which will cause more suffering both health- and money-wise, Rahul Gandhi said, like what happened during demonetisation when people queued up in front of banks to get their old notes of ₹500, and ₹1,000 get exchanged.
Vaccination has taken a 'divisive' turn after opposition or Congress-ruled states complained of a vaccine shortage. Union health minister Dr Harsh Vardhan dismissed the complaints and said those were efforts to cover up the inefficiency of the state governments. In a reply to former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's letter to PM Modi on vaccination, Vardhan slammed Congress members and accused them of fuelling "vaccine hesitancy".
Slamming the Gandhi family for its politicisation of the vaccination, BJP leader Sambit Patra on Wednesday said, the nation is watching how the Gandhis are criticising an issue that should not be politicised. "When things shouldn't be politicised, Congress, especially Gandhi family is doing politics. Priyanka Gandhi gave an interview and Rahul Gandhi tweeted. The nation is watching how they're criticising and it will reply. Gandhi family's arrogance is being reflected," the BJP leader said.
The Gandhis are not the first to criticise the government's open vaccine policy, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday questioned the Centre's decision to make vaccine available in open market at a time when states are complaining of shortage. "Yesterday the PM said the medicine (vaccine) will be available in open market. Where is the open market, where is the availability? You have already shipped out the majority of stock to foreign destinations," she said.