AAP, BJP spar over vaccine shortage

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New Delhi, Apr 9 (PTI) The AAP on Friday questioned the Centre's policy on the export of COVID-19 vaccines amid a shortage in the country and asked whether it is necessary to save the lives of Indians or send the vaccines to Pakistan and Afghanistan.

In response, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) accused the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) of running an anarchic campaign, trying to create an atmosphere of fear and confusion.

Addressing a press conference, AAP spokesperson Raghav Chadha said on one hand, the BJP-led Centre claims that Pakistan exports terrorism to India and on the other, India is exporting vaccines to the neighbouring country.

'India is directly or indirectly exporting more than six crore vaccine doses to Pakistan. Today, there is a shortage of the vaccines across the country, yet the Centre has exported 6.45 crore doses to 84 countries.

'After the vaccination of the 135 crore people of the country, the (Narendra) Modi government should export the vaccines and earn trivial appreciation, we have no objection,' he said.

Chadha said when countries like the US, the UK, Hungary and Canada have accumulated enough stocks of vaccines 'to vaccinate their entire population thrice, our government is busy exporting vaccines to other countries'.

Due to a shortage of the vaccine doses, 109 vaccination centres in Pune, 26 in Mumbai and more than 700 in Odisha have been shut down, he said.

'If the Centre removes all restrictions vis-a-vis eligibility and makes stocks available, the (Arvind) Kejriwal government will vaccinate the entire population of Delhi in three months,' the AAP leader said.

Reacting to Chadha's remarks, Delhi BJP spokesperson Praveen Shankar Kapoor said the AAP's continued statements alleging a shortage of COVID-19 vaccines in the country are a part of its anarchic strategy.

'Today, when the country is successfully running its COVID vaccination campaign, leaders like Arvind Kejriwal and Raghav Chadha, with their anarchic campaign, are trying to create an atmosphere of fear and confusion,' he said.

Chadha quoted figures of different states but kept mum on Delhi's vaccine stock availability because there is no shortage in the national capital, Kapoor said, adding, 'Every state gets the vaccine stock as it can stock and use and the production of vaccines is an ongoing process.' He further said in a bid to be seen on a national platform, the AAP is trying to create confusion on the vaccine stock, but the truth is that there is no shortage of the vaccines and their production is ongoing in the country. PTI UZM VIT RC