Ahead of the Bihar elections, the BJP on Thursday created a furore as they vowed to make COVID-19 vaccines available for free in the state. And while this would have been an acceptable comment in most contexts, many were outraged at the fact that this was the first promise made by the party in its election manifesto.
Since then, there have been two clarifications and addendums. While MoS Health Ashwini Chaubey assured that the free COVID-19 vaccine would be available for people across the country irrespective of the state they belonged to, BJP IT Cell Chief Amit Malviya explained that the Centre would provide vaccines to the states at a "nominal rate". As he explained, it was then up to the state government to decide whether it would be given for free.
But the fact that the party was in essence, urging voters to elect them with the lure of free vaccines (among other promises) has irked many. Since the contentious announcement was made, many have taken to social media platforms to call out this "barter" or sorts.
Congress leader Shashi Tharoor responded to a video clipping that shows Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman explaining the poll promise as made in the BJP manifesto.
"You give me your vote, I'll give you vaccine...what appalling cynicism! Will the Election Commission rap her and her shameless government on the knuckles?" he tweeted in response.