BJP leader blames Maha govt for not ordering vaccines `in time'

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Mumbai, Apr 28 (PTI) BJP leader Pravin Darekar on Wednesday blamed the Maharashtra government for `not placing orders in time' after the state said it can not start COVID-19 inoculation for those above 18 from May 1 for want of doses.

The Shiv Sena-led government earlier in the day announced free vaccination for those in the 18 to 44 years age group.

'The onus of placing orders for COVID-19 vaccines is on the state government,' said Darekar, Leader of Opposition in the Legislative Council.

'The state government should have placed orders with vaccine producers in time instead of fighting with the Centre,' he told reporters.

This was not the time to 'indulge in politics', and the government should try to procure vaccine doses as soon as possible, Darekar further said.

The Union government on April 19 announced that states can buy vaccine doses directly from manufacturers. It also opened vaccination for the entire adult population of the country.

State BJP chief Chandrakant Patil, however, welcomed the Maharashtra cabinet's decision to inoculate 5.71 crore people free of cost.

'I congratulate the government for taking this decision,' he said. PTI ND KRK KRK