AAP holds protest against Punjab govt, accuses it of 'diverting' Covid vaccines to private hospitals

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Mohali, Jun 6 (PTI) Punjab's main opposition party AAP on Sunday held a protest here against the Congress-led government, accusing it of 'diverting' Covid vaccines to the private hospitals.

AAP leaders led by MLAs Saravjit Kaur Manuke, Jai Kishan Singh Rodi and Amarjit Singh Sandoa sought dismissal of Health Minister Balbir Singh Sidhu from the cabinet and registration of a case against him over the issue of alleged 'diversion' of coronavirus vaccines.

The protesters marched towards the residence of the health minister to 'gherao' his house in Mohali.

The Aam Aadmi Party workers shouted slogans against the Amarinder Singh-led government and also burnt the effigy of the health minister.

The police detained AAP leaders and workers and took them to the Matour police station from where they were later released, officials said.

The Punjab government on Friday had issued an order to take back Covid vaccines given to private hospitals with immediate effect after the opposition targeted it for allegedly 'diverting' the doses to the private health facilities.

The health minister had then said the instruction of providing one-time limited vaccine doses to private hospitals had been withdrawn.

Addressing the protesters in Mohali on Sunday, the AAP leaders alleged that the health minister had proved to be a 'complete failure' in ensuring better health facilities to the people of Punjab amid the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

AAP leaders alleged that the health minister is cheating the people of Punjab by selling the vaccines, meant for the people of the state, to private hospitals.

The government had bought the vaccine for Rs 400 in the name of the people of Punjab and sold it to private hospitals for Rs 1,060, and unethically earned crores of rupees, they alleged, adding that they have now closed the centres claiming vaccination shortage. PTI CHS VSD TDS TDS