In its Saturday editorial in mouthpiece Saamana, Shiv Sena said Bihar should get Covid-19 vaccine but other states are not in Pakistan. Criticising BJP’s election promise of free vaccine to Bihar, the editorial asked if the non-BJP-ruled states in the country should now ask Russian President Vladimir Putin for vaccine against Covid-19.
The NDA in its election manifesto for Bihar has promised free vaccine to all. Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut earlier criticised the decision of including vaccine in the manifesto and said, “Earlier it was give me blood and I will give you freedom. Now it has become give me vote and i will give you vaccine.”
Echoing the same sentiment, the editorial said Covid-19 vaccine distribution is the national role of the government. It will cost the Centre at least Rs 70,000 crore to vaccinate 130 crore people in the country. “Bihar is part of the country. The state has consistently demanded special status. But even though Nitish Kumar was the chief minister, the state remained backward. There is no doubt that Bihar should get the vaccine but other states are not in Pakistan. The issue of Covid-19 vaccine should not be included in Bihar’s election manifesto,” the editorial said.
It also noted how after Nirmala Sitharaman released the election manifesto, states like Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh “rushed” to announce free vaccines.
“What exactly is the policy of Bharatiya Janata Party? Who is their guide? The Prime Minister did not bring caste, religion, province, politics anywhere as he spoke on vaccine distribution. But now the BJP leaders have taken a strange role in the Bihar Assembly campaign,” the editorial said, taking a note that Bihar Assembly election 2020 is going to be the first major election activity on the country amid the ongoing pandemic.
“Public meetings are being held. A huge number of people are gathering as leaders are flying in and out in helicopters. Social distancing rules are being flouted,” it said.