Maha Cong to give nearly Rs 2cr for COVID-19 vaccination drive

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(Eds: Changing the headline, updating the story with quotes) Mumbai, Apr 29 (PTI) The Maharashtra Congress on Thursday said it will donate nearly Rs 2 crore to the Chief Minister's Relief Fund (CMRF) to contribute towards the free COVID-19 vaccination drive for people in the age group of 18 to 44.

Speaking to reporters here, state Revenue Minister and senior Congress leader Balasaheb Thorat said he will donate a year's salary, while other Congress MLAs will contribute a month's salary to the CMRF.

'My one year's salary and a month's salary of all Congress MLAs will be donated to the CMRF. This will come up to Rs 2 crore,' he said, adding that the Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee will also contribute Rs 5 lakh.

Apart from this, the vaccination cost of 5,000 employees of Sangamner-based Amrut Group of Industries, which is headed by him, will be donated to the CMRF, the minister said.

The COVID-19 crisis has taken a serious turn in the country and the state, he said.

The best preventive measure against the virus is to vaccinate all citizens in a time-bound manner, Thorat said.

Many vaccination campaigns were carried out during the Congress rule at the Centre, and the Congress government did not worry about profit or loss and gave free vaccines to people by prioritising their health, he said, accusing the Narendra Modi government of running away from its responsibility.

The Maharashtra government on Wednesday announced its decision to inoculate citizens in the age group of 18 to 44 against COVID-19 for free at state-run vaccination centres.

The state will have to bear an expenditure of Rs 6,500 crore to vaccinate 5.71 crore citizens in this age group. PTI MR ARU ARU