'Won't say anything': PM Modi's veiled dig at Covid-19 vaccine 'politics'
In a veiled reference to the ongoing politics over allocation of Covid-19 vaccines, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said those who want to do politics are doing it. "I am seeing this from day one and I have been putting up with all kind of statements. I choose not to open my mouth because I believe serving the people of India is our responsibility," PM Modi said.
His comments comes after Union health minister Dr Harsh Vardhan accused Maharashtra of diverting people's attention from its dismal management of the pandemic by blaming the Centre for vaccine shortage. Shiv Sena, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leaders criticised Harsh Vardhan's specific attack, which appeared to be "politically motivated", they said. Apart from Maharashtra, the health minister also pointed out Chhattisgarh's failure in containing the spread of the infection. Both these states are non-BJP-ruled and are contributing the highest number of fresh infections to India's daily caseload.
PM Modi said there is no need to panic about the vaccine supply, and more focus should be given to increasing the number of testing.
On Thursday, several vaccination centres in Maharashtra, Odisha were temporarily shut as there was no vaccine stock. Union health minister Dr Harsh Vardhan dismissed the claims and said the Centre is constantly monitoring the stock of the states. States have 4.3 crore vaccine doses wither in stock or are being in transit. Maharashtra and Rajasthan are the two states which have been given the highest number of doses, the health minister said, adding that both are non-BJP-governed states.
The information that the health minister shared shows Maharashtra has been allocated 1.06 crore doses of vaccines, while Rajasthan has got 1.04 crore doses and Gujarat 1.05 crore. Maharashtra health minister Rajesh Tope on Thursday questioned why Gujarat was given so many vaccine doses.
States should not compete regarding the number of infections. "If more positive cases are being reported, test more, without coming under any pressure. "The evaluation that you are doing it badly if there are more cases is not right," PM Modi said.