The RJD said the vaccine belongs to the country and not the BJP, which is using it for its politics.
“The corona vaccine belongs to the country, not the BJP! The political use of the vaccine shows that they have no alternative but to sell the fear of disease and death. Biharis are self-respecting, and will not sell their children’s future for a small amount,” the RJD said on its official Twitter handle.
SP leader Akhilesh Yadav said the ruling BJP in the country is saying it will get the corona vaccine free for the people of Bihar.
“Why such a declaration was not made for UP and other states. The people of Uttar Pradesh and the country will give its reply to such opportunistic petty politics of the BJP in the upcoming elections,” he said in a tweet in Hindi.
NC leader Omar Abdullah asked whether the BJP will pay for the COVID vaccine from its own money.
“If it’s coming from the govt treasury then how can Bihar get free vaccines while the rest of the country has to pay? There is so much wrong with this blatant populism that shamefully exploits COVID fears,” he tweeted.
Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi said it is BJP’s manifesto for Bihar and not for the entire country. He said since health is a state subject, it is up to the state to promise whether they would provide the vaccine free to its people.
Seeking to counter the opposition attack, BJP’s Amit Malviya said the Centre will provide the vaccines to states at a nominal rate and it is for the state governments to provide it free to its people.
“BJP’s manifesto promises free COVID vaccine. Like all programs, Centre 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,” he said.
BJP general secretary (organisation) B L Santhosh claimed that free vaccine promise by the party in its poll manifesto has got huge traction.
“As usual ecosystem gets into overdrive to ridicule the proposal . It’s our resolve whenever vaccine is available in whatever quantity it may be , it will be provided free in Bihar,” he said.
Replying to a tweet by Tharoor on the issue, BJP’s Bhupendra Yadav said, “Your attempt to twist Smt Nirmala Sitharaman’s statement reeks of desperation. All parties issue manifestos. Vaccines will be made available to all Indians at nominal costs. States can make it free. In #Bihar, we will.”
Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel accused the BJP of politicising public health by promising free vaccine in Bihar.
“NDA manifesto says free vaccine for Biharis. This is a poll promise BJP and JDU have made. Note: A Manifesto is a list of promises to be delivered if the govt comes to power then they are politicising health of citizens with Vaccine Electionism,” he tweeted.
“With this poll promise BJP has implied that the citizens of other non election states will have to pay for the vaccine,” “he said.