Following Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s address to the nation, in which he announced the central procurement of Covid-19 vaccines, some Congress leaders have reacted welcoming the move. However, they also did point out that the decision should have been taken much earlier to ensure less damage by the disease.
Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh said that Modi has conceded to the state government’s requests of centralised procurement of vaccines. “Good that Centre has decided to take over vaccine procurement & distribution for the whole country for all age groups. I had personally written to @narendramodi ji on this issue twice suggesting this as the only solution to managing #CovidVaccine crisis,” Raveen Thukral, media advisor to CM Amarinder Singh, quoted him as saying.
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“The move will help Punjab & other states facing problems in sourcing vaccines to ensure early vaccination of their people. It’ll also bring much-needed pricing parity – a necessity in pandemic times. I am glad PM @narendramodi has conceded our request,” Thukral quoted the chief minister in a subsequent tweet.
Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot called the announcement a “victory of public sentiment.” In a tweet in Hindi, he said, “Due to your spirit, today Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi ji had to announce free vaccination for all the countrymen including 18+. This is a victory of public sentiment.” Gehlot also congratulated all the MPs, MLAs and Congress workers in his state.
Rajya Sabha MP and former Union minister Jairam Ramesh also expressed similar opinions saying that the prime minister has accepted the opposition’s demand for centralised procurement. “The Prime Minister inflicted a huge cost on the people of India before accepting the Opposition’s demand for centralised procurement and free vaccination for those in the age group of 18-44-year-old. Humility and reaching out will not hurt him,” he tweeted on Monday.
Meanwhile, Congress MP Shashi Tharoor said that the Union government “has done the right thing at last.” He, however, also said that the government should have proactive placed orders for the vaccines a year ago and should have spent on expanding India’s capabilities.
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“Glad that @PMOIndia has done the right thing at last, after exhausting the bad alternatives. If GoI had proactively placed vaccine orders a year ago & paid to expand India’s capacities,the nation would have been spared the trauma of the last 6 months, AND we could’ve exported too,” the Congress leader from Thiruvananthapuram tweeted after Modi’s speech.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the country at 5pm on Monday during which he said that the Union government would take over the task of Covid-19 vaccination from the state governments. He also announced that all people above the age of 18 would be vaccinated for free of cost from June 21.