Delhi finishing vaccine supply too soon, says Khattar: Kejriwal hits back

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Chandigarh, May 31 (PTI) Haryana Chief Minister M L Khattar on Monday accused his Delhi counterpart Arvind Kejriwal of playing politics over anti-Covid vaccines, saying the national capital is exhausting its supply too soon while his own state is stretching it over a longer period.

Hitting back, Kejriwal said his focus is on saving lives not vaccines.

'Khattar Sahib, only vaccines can save lives. More people will be safer the sooner they get vaccinated. My aim is not to save the vaccines, but to save people's lives,' Kejriwal tweeted in Hindi, tagging Khattar's video.

Khattar's comment on vaccine rationing invited a sharp reaction from the Congress as well, which said Haryana has doses but is administering them to people in small numbers over several days.

'Deliberate delay in administering vaccines is also being termed as a strategy. He says the government has vaccines, but these will be administered to people in small numbers over several days. This is the reason why the people of Haryana are not able to get the vaccines..,' Congress general secretary Randeep Singh Surjewala said in a tweet.

Claiming that Kejriwal always has a critical tone, Khattar said Delhi is getting more vaccine doses considering the size of its population.

Giving his own state as an example, Khattar told reporters, 'Even we can administer two lakh doses in one day and exhaust our stock. But we know how much stock we are getting and if we keep administering 50,000 to 60,000 doses to people daily, this (stock) will keep going on.' Talking to reporters later in the day, Khattar sought to clarify his remarks. .

“Kejriwal is also aware and we also know what the status of the stock of COVID-19 vaccine is. I said that if the vaccination campaign is conducted as per the available stock it would be better. It is not appropriate to do politics over it,” Khattar said while stressing that he never said that vaccines should not be administered to people.

He also said 12 crore vaccines are going to be available in the country soon and the distribution will be done according to norms.

During his interaction with reporters earlier in the day, Khattar said given the current pandemic situation, the Centre is doing its best to lend assistance to the states.

'So far, all vaccination doses are coming from the Centre's side. Delhi's population is two crore, our population is 2.90 crore,' the Haryana chief minister said.

'If we go by this ratio, Delhi has got 51 lakh vaccine doses and accordingly we should have got 74 to 75 lakh doses, but we have got only 58 lakh doses. If one goes by per million population, Delhi has got more and Haryana has got less vaccine doses,' he added.

His remarks came amid Kejriwal's demand for more vaccine doses from the Centre.

'Whatever stock is available, it has to be distributed to the entire country. Delhi alone cannot get it. And if the entire country has to get it, then it will be given on a pro rata basis,' the Haryana chief minister said.

Khattar said many states, including Haryana, are also making efforts to procure vaccines from abroad by floating global tenders.

'The Centre is already giving vaccines and will keep giving in future too. But he (Kejriwal) always indulges in drama,' he said. PTI SUN VSD RHL

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