New Delhi [India], June 8 (ANI): After Prime Minister Narendra Modi's announcement of centralised COVID-19 vaccination drive for all adults for free, former union minister and senior Congress leader P Chidambaram on Monday said the underlying message is that the government has learned from their mistakes.
Speaking to ANI, Chidambaram said that nobody said that the Centre should not procure vaccines.
"The underlying message was that the Central government learned from its mistakes. They made two cardinal mistakes and made effort to correct those mistakes, but as usual bluff and bluster, the Prime Minister blames the Opposition for the mistakes he committed," he said.
"Nobody, but nobody said that Centre shouldn't procure vaccines. He (PM) now blames state governments saying - they wanted to procure vaccines so we allowed them. Let us know which CM, which state government, on what date demanded that he should be allowed to procure vaccines."
He also refuted Prime Minister Narendra Modi's statement that the Centre allowed states to buy vaccines in response to demands from states.
"Please tell us which state government demanded that it should be allowed to directly procure vaccines'. Social media activists have posted the copy of the letter of CM, West Bengal to PM making such a request. I was wrong. I stand corrected," tweeted the senior Congress leader.
His remarks came after PM Modi in his televised address on Monday announced that the Centre will provide free COVID-19 vaccine to all Indian citizens above 18 years of age from June 21 and it will handle the 25 per cent vaccination that was with states till now under the liberalised plan announced earlier.
The Prime Minister said the Centre will procure 75 per cent of the total production of the vaccine doses and provide them free to the states. No state government would be spending anything for vaccines.
Responding to a question on the alleged seeling of COVID vaccines by Punjab Government to private hosptals, the Congress leader said, "I agree that Punjab government should not have given vaccines to private hospitals. But what is the proportion of vaccines they gave to private hospitals in few days when that policy was in force? Maybe 1-2 per cent. They have corrected it now."
This comes amid allegations by the opposition about COVID-19 vaccines being sold to private hospitals at higher prices by the Punjab government for profit. (ANI)