As COVID-19 cases rise, the expansion of India's inoculation drive to include all adults appears to have brought in fresh problems. Over the last few days, countless individuals have taken to social media platforms highlighting their inability to book a slot, even as state government flagged a shortage of doses. Shiv Sena MP Priyanka Chaturvedi on Thursday hit out at the Centre for creating what she dubbed a "vaccination jam", highlighting several facets where she believed the BJP-led administration had fallen short.
"They are creators of vaccination jam . Have jammed the entire process because of sheer incompetence," she told a Twitter user. Citing an earlier Twitter by BJP leader Amit Malviya that held the Opposition responsible for vaccine hesitancy, the Rajya Sabha leader called for the Central administration to resign.
"India was among the first to get its own vaccine. Opposition mocked it, promoted vaccine hesitancy. Now after the second surge, everyone wants the jab. But there is only so much production capacity. Vaccine isn’t jam that anyone can produce. So we have to schedule and prioritise," Malviya had alleged on Wednesday in a series of tweets hitting out at critics.
Chaturvedi countered this, suggesting that if the Opposition was "more powerful" than the Centre, the latter should resign. "Yes, everyone SHOULD demand a jab because it is a right of every citizen to be safe. Also vaccine production can be ramped up if compulsory license invoked. But no, we are GoI hence smug," she fumed.
In follow up posts, she hit out at critics as well as highlighting several problematic facets of India's handling of the pandemic.
"So called vaccine hesitancy of the opposition was the reason behind government of India not stocking vaccines, vaccine Maitri initiative to give away these vaccines, not ramping up production, not providing the jab free despite 35,000 crore allocation and not giving emergency usage approval to vaccines sooner," she jibed.
While there has been no direct response from Malviya, the BJP leader took to Twitter soon after this with an FAQ of sorts. "Some people have been using the pandemic for political propaganda. Even their supposed humanitarian efforts have been nothing more than publicity stunts with media and cheerleaders in the tow. But truth can’t be suppressed... Here are facts for those who care," he added.