Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Thursday released its manifesto for three-phased Bihar elections and promised that after the approval of the coronavirus vaccine from ICMR, every person in the State will get vaccinated free of cost.
However, BJP faced huge criticism for this promise of free vaccine for Bihar. After Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman drew criticism for her statement, MoS Health and BJP leader Ashwini Choubey clarified that free coronavirus vaccine will be for every state and not just Bihar.
Now, BJP IT Cell's Amit Malviya has come up with what he called as a "simple" explanation on the matter. In his tweet, he explained why Bihar BJP decided to give free COVID-19 vaccines for everyone in the state.
"BJP’s manifesto promises free Covid vaccine. Like all programs, center 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 (sic)," he tweeted.
Union Finance Minister and BJP leader Nirmala Sitharaman released the party's manifesto today.
"As soon as COVID-19 vaccine will be available for production at a mass scale every person in Bihar will get free vaccination. This is the first promise mentioned in our poll manifesto," Sitharaman said.
The senior BJP leader said that Bihar is one State where all citizens are politically sensitive and well informed.
"They know and understand the promises a party makes. If anyone raises questions on our manifesto, we can answer them with confidence as we fulfill what we promised," she added.
Sitharaman said that Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in Bihar has seen a sharp rise under the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) rule, it has grown from 3 per cent to 11.3 per cent in the State in the last 15 years of NDA govt and not during the 15 years of jungle raj.
"It was made possible because our government gave priority to good governance for people. Only 34 per cent eligible got a pucca house in Lalu Yadav's 15 years tenure. But in the last 15 years, 96 per cent of eligible people got the pucca house," she said.
Appealing to all voters in the State to vote for NDA and make it win, Sitharaman said, "Nitish Kumar will be the Chief Minister of Bihar for the next 5 years. Under his rule, Bihar will become a progressive and developed state of India." The election document was unveiled by Union Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman and senior leaders Bhupender Yadav, Nityanand Rai, Ashwini Choubey, and Pramod Kumar. Union minister and Patna Sahib MP Ravi Shankar Prasad and other BJP leaders were also present at the event.
The manifesto comes a day before Prime Minister Narendra Modi hits the campaign trail. The BJP's manifesto speaks about the Prime Minister's vision of making 'Atmanirbhar Bihar'.
Major political parties of Bihar are busy wooing voters and releasing manifesto for the Assembly polls which is going to be conducted in Bihar in three phases and counting will take place on November 10.
The BJP is contesting the Bihar election in alliance with Nitish Kumar's Janata Dal (United). The JD(U) is contesting on 122 seats and BJP on 121 in the 243-member state Assembly.
The 'Mahagathbandhan' - an alliance of Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), Congress and Left parties has already released its manifesto.
The Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) led by Chirag Paswan released its manifesto on Wednesday for Bihar Assembly poll in Patna.
(With inputs from ANI)