Non-BJP CMs thank Modi for ‘conceding demand’

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on June 08, 2021

Mamata Banerjee   -  PTI

It is the SC and the public opinion which showed that the Centre made a major miscalculation: Chhattisgarh Health Minister

Most Opposition-ruled States said they had all along been urging the Centre to procure Covid-19 vaccines and attributed the reversal in its stance to the Supreme Court’s intervention and “public opinion”.

The Apex Court had chastised the Centre’s vaccine policy last week, especially as States were left to float global tenders for vaccines. While welcoming the PM’s announcement, most States said this would not have come but for the Supreme Court.

“It is the Supreme Court and the public opinion which clearly showed that the Centre had made a major miscalculation. When it was clear that we had to vaccinate 80 crore people and we would require 160 crore doses, why did we depend on just two manufacturers who can produce 7 crore doses per month? People above 60 and those with co-morbidities were prioritised because we did not have enough vaccines,” Chhattisgarh Health Minister TS Singh Deo told BusinessLine.

Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia echoed Singh Deo’s sentiment. “We have to be thankful to the Supreme Court... If the Centre wanted, they could have done this earlier. But they were following a policy due to which neither the States were able to procure nor were they providing the vaccines,” he said.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin said: “I appreciate the PM for reversing his government’s position. As the PM stressed multiple times, Health is a State subject, it would be appropriate for each State to be given complete control of the registration, validation and administration procedures,” he tweeted.

West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee said she had asked the PM “multiple times” to do precisely what he has done today and many lives would have been saved if the decision had been earlier. “…The well-being of the people should have been prioritised since the start of this pandemic. Unfortunately, this delayed decision has cost many lives,” she tweeted.

Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan thanked the PM for conceding “the consistent demand of the State”. “...This will also alleviate the need for States to spend substantial amounts on purchase of vaccines....”

Maharashtra Minister Nawab Malik said the Centre is not making available the 25 per cent vaccine. States were licensed to purchase vaccines at ₹300-400. However, due to delayed supply of vaccines to the people, questions were being raised, he said.

Congress leader and former State Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan tweeted that PM corrected the vaccine policy “ blunder” after the SC’s “rap on knuckles and persistent demand from opposition parties”.  He added,  “ Delayed wisdom! but PM must take the responsibility for having put India through severe trauma. I demand there should be a single procurement order by the GoI”.

Published on June 07, 2021

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