In a tweet in Hindi, Akhilesh said, “Seeing the public outrage, the (Central) government has given up politicising the corona vaccine and announced that it would give the vaccine doses.
Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav, who had earlier called Covid vaccines “BJP’s vaccines”, on Tuesday said that he would get inoculated with the “Indian government’s vaccine” and urged people to get vaccinated. This about-turn came a day after party founder and his father Mulayam Singh Yadav got vaccinated, which made the BJP take a jibe at Akhilesh over his previous remarks.
In a tweet in Hindi, Akhilesh said, “Seeing the public outrage, the (Central) government has given up politicising the corona vaccine and announced that it would give the vaccine doses. I was against the BJP’s vaccine, but welcome the vaccine of the Government of India. I will also get vaccinated. I appeal to those who could not get vaccinated for the lack of vaccines to do so.”
On Monday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweaked his government’s Covid-19 vaccination policy and announced that states will receive free doses for inoculation of all above 18. The announcement came amid a chorus from states that the Centre should take over vaccine procurement, and probing questions recently from the Supreme Court.
In January when the vaccines were rolled out, Akhilesh had said he would not take the “BJP’s vaccine”, and that when his government would come to power, everyone would be vaccinated for free. “I will not get the vaccine now. I am telling you about myself. Am I going to trust a vaccine given by the BJP? Oh, get lost. When our government comes, everyone will get the vaccine free),” the former chief minister had said at a press conference in Lucknow on January 2. He later clarified that he never insulted the scientists who had developed the vaccines.
Akhilesh on Tuesday accused the BJP government of paying more attention to its “selfish political gains instead of working to check the spread of coronavirus”. Alleging that the indecisiveness and carelessness on part of the government over vaccinating people, the pandemic spread further. “They (BJP) don’t listen to experts, and instead hold celebrations for devastation. They have always cheated the people… By changing its vaccine policy so often, people became unsure of it,” he said.
Quoting Nobel laureate Amartya Sen, Akhilesh said the BJP government is more focused on taking credit for its work. “But the people now know the truth about the BJP and will not be misled by its talks,” said Akhilesh, adding that there was a very little chance that the BJP will be able to achieve the goal of vaccinating all by Diwali.
“In order to vaccinate the majority of India’s population this year, we need to be vaccinating 10 million people per day, not the 2.5 million presently. This is not a debate about capacity, but about the choices the BJP government made,” he said.
“The vaccination programme will only pick up after the Samajwadi Party forms the government in Uttar Pradesh in 2022,” he added.
On Monday, Samajwadi Party founder Mulayam Singh Yadav, 81, got vaccinated at a private hospital. Soon after the party made the announcement, the BJP described it as a “good message” and took a swipe at Akhilesh Yadav, saying SP workers and its president should take inspiration from him.
While thanking Mulayam for taking the “swadeshi vaccine”, Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya tweeted, “You (Mulayam) taking the vaccine is proof of the fact SP president Akhilesh Yadav spread rumours about the vaccines. For this, Akhileshji should apologise.”
Similarly, BJP state chief Swatantra Dev Singh tweeted that he hoped that SP workers and its chief will take inspiration from their founder.
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