Discussions on the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine are in full swing across the country. Meanwhile, in a contentious statement, Samajwadi Party (SP) chief and former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav has refused to take the COVID-19 shot, pointing out that he "can't trust BJP's vaccine".
He also said his party will come to power in the state after 2022 elections and everybody will get the vaccine free.
"I am not going to get vaccinated for now. How can I trust BJP's vaccine, when our government will be formed everyone will get free vaccine. We cannot take BJP's vaccine," news agency ANI quoted Akhilesh as saying.
Meanwhile, Union Minister Anurag Thakur condemned the SP chief's statement and said that the latter is trying to save his "sinking politics" at the cost of the effort of the scientists and researchers worldwide.
"Prime Minister Narendra Modi has talked about 'Jaan hai toh jaahan hai'. Scientists and researchers worldwide have toiled extraordinary hours to ensure that the least number of lives are lost due to the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak. However, Akhilesh Yadav is now making these unfortunate statements to save his sinking political ship," said Anurag Thakur.
Uttar Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya also criticised the SP chief's statement and said, "Akhilesh Yadav does not trust the COVID-19 vaccine, and the people of Uttar Pradesh do not trust Akhilesh Yadav. Questioning the vaccine is actually an insult to the scientists, he should apologize to them for it."
A trial drill for distribution of COVID-19 vaccine began across the country on Saturday, officials said.
The Centre had on Thursday stated that the exercises aims to test the linkages between planning and implementation, and identify challenges.
(With inputs from agencies)