“Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced that all people will be provided vaccines free of cost. An estimated Rs 500 will be spent on vaccination of each person,” says Union Minister of State Pratap Sarangi.
The BJP announcement had kicked up a ‘hullabaloo’, with the Opposition contending that the ruling party was taking advantage of the pandemic for political rationales. Considering this, Union Minister Pratap Sarangi on October 25 said that all Indians will be given free COVID-19 vaccine, amidst the demand by Opposition parties in the country for it and not only in poll-bound Bihar as announced by the BJP.
Though the Centre has made its promise to provide free vaccine to every citizen, there lies a mammoth loophole in it. As we all know, ‘health’ as a subject comes under the state list – it is on the state governments if they want to give it free or otherwise. The governments of Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh, Assam and Puduchchery have already announced free of cost COVID-19 vaccines in their States, while Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has insisted free vaccine for all citizens across the country.
BJP’s manifesto promises free Covid vaccine. Like all programs, center will provide vaccines to states at a nominal rate. It is for the state Govts to decide if they want to give it free or otherwise. Health being a state subject, Bihar BJP has decided to give it free. Simple.
— Amit Malviya (@amitmalviya) October 22, 2020
Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a televised address to the nation on October 20 said that Indian scientists are in the process of developing several vaccines that are at different stages of clinical trials and the results seem encouraging.
Well, the fortunate consequence of the quarrel between our caring and considerate parties for the citizens is the promise for free vaccines amid the pandemic. As Atal Bihari Vajpayee ji said, “Sarkaren to aati jati rahengi, ye desh kayam rehna chahiye”.