Amidst the spurt in COVID-19 cases and shortage of vaccines across the country and in Maharashtra, state Congress chief Nana Patole blamed the Narendra Modi government for its poor vaccine procurement policy, management and implementation. He demanded that the central government should immediately announce a national policy on COVID-19 vaccination, which will benefit citizens the most. “The Modi government at the Center has failed in handling the pandemic and the vaccination drive. There are long queues outside vaccination centers across the country. The government says that 17 crore people have been vaccinated, but millions have not received the second dose even though the administration period for the second dose has expired. The central government should announce a national policy on vaccination,” he said.
Patole alleged that the Modi government at the Center has insulted the court by saying that the court should not interfere in COVID-19 management and presenting ‘false’ information to the Supreme Court that free vaccines are being given to all citizens of the country. “The Supreme Court has set up a task force in view of the dire situation in the country. The Modi government at the Center has failed to protect the lives of the people,” he claimed.
Patole blamed the central government for the lack of planning for the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, surfacing in the lack of oxygen, proper health equipment and adequate vaccines. “Hundreds of bodies are being brutally buried with the help of JCBs and hundreds are floating in the river. No vaccines, no medicine, no oxygen, even the equipment supplied from the PM Cares Fund is of secondary quality,” he said.
Patole said this is not the first time India has been battling a national epidemic, as the country was able to fight measles, plague and polio in the past. “At the time, when 20 crore children were vaccinated against polio, there was no portal, app, or OTP. However, the Congress government could do it due to a comprehensive planning,” he opined. Congress shares power with Shiv Sena and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) in Maharashtra.