New Delhi, Mar 17 (PTI) Congress MP Manish Tewari on Wednesday claimed that the COVID-19 vaccination drive is not going on properly and alleged that the government is giving more stress on the export of vaccines rather than inoculation of the country's citizens.
However, BJP ally JD-U's Rajiv Ranjan Singh strongly refuted the charge and commended Prime Minister Narendra Modi for controlling the pandemic.
Initiating the debate on Demand for Grants for the Ministry of Health, Tewari demanded that India must take the initiative as the current head of the executive board of the World Health Organisation (WHO) to hold China responsible for spreading coronavirus across the globe.
'India should not be part of the culpability to allow China to go scot-free. As the chair of the WHO executive board, India must take the initiative to order an inquiry so that China, where the virus had originated, could be held responsible for spreading the disease throughout the world,' he said.
The Congress leader said that so far just 3.5 crore people in the country have been vaccinated while 5.74 crore doses were given to 72 countries.
'It reflects that the government is giving more importance to its vaccine diplomacy rather than inoculation of its own citizens,' he alleged.
Tewari also claimed that the pace of vaccination is very slow and many of those who received the first dose of the vaccine did not take the second dose.
'This shows that the vaccination drive is not going on properly,' he said.
Tewari questioned the rationale behind the imposition of a 'drastic lockdown' in the country.
He also rued that many private hospitals indulged in profiteering rather than offering service to people during the pandemic and termed it a 'sin'. He urged the government to bring a law for the regulation of both private and government hospitals.
Participating in the debate, JD-U leader Rajiv Ranjan Singh slammed Tewari for his 'failure' to appreciate the leadership of Prime Minister Modi during the pandemic.
'The prime minister has spoken to each state, taken their suggestions and tried to solve their problems. No stakeholder can say that the prime minister has not spoken to them. The prime minister has shown the highest standard of cooperative federalism,' he said.
Singh said the Modi government, by running scores of trains, ensured that lakhs of migrant workers reached home within days of declaration of lockdown.
He also defended the government's decision to export vaccines to other nations, saying the move has enhanced India's honour and served the humanity.
Singh criticised the Congress for allegedly doubting the efficacy of India's vaccines and 'spreading rumours' about them.
'Don't create panic. What you have said will create a fear psychosis. There is no shortage of Indian vaccines. Everyone will get vaccine phase-wise,' he said. PTI ACB ACB DIV DIV