Amid Prime Minister Narendra Modi being lauded for the decision to centralize the vaccination program, President of the All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul-Muslimeen (AIMIM) Asaduddin Owaisi in an exclusive conversation with Republic Media Network on Monday said that right from the beginning it was the responsibility of the Centre, and through his address, the Prime Minister allegedly tried to shift the responsibility to the states.
Describing his address to the Nation as an 'unnecessary lecture' which could have been a press release, the President of AIMIM asserted that the decision to centralize the vaccination program was the result of the Supreme Court judgment and that the government was just trying to shift the blame of the 'blunder' committed by it to the states in today's address by PM Modi.
Thanks to @PMOIndia for another episode of an unnecessary lecture that could have been a press release. Reversal of vax policy seems to be result of SC's order. Although blame of a terrible vaccine policy has been put on states, it's Modi who failed to ensure vax supply 1/n— Asaduddin Owaisi (@asadowaisi) June 7, 2021
Owaisi posed a few questions to the PM Modi-led Central government. "Did it create a horrible liberalized vaccine policy just to insult states?" he asked while highlighting that the government always chooses such gimmicks over efforts to increase vaccine production. "Forget everything else, the only question for PM is why's there such a large shortage of vaccines?" he added and went on to claim that till April, no money was spent on ramping up vaccine production. He further stated, "If there are no vaccines, it does not matter who procures it."
Owaisi also took the opportunity to talk about private hospitals continuing to have quotas. "Not surprisingly, private hospitals will continue to have a 25 percent quota so that rich have a ‘VIP queue’, while the poor have to wait for vaccine availability." He then went on to claim that PM was congratulating himself that India is vaccinating people better than many countries, and stated," As long as he gets foreign validation, he doesn't care about saving lives."
Taking a jibe at PM Modi, he concluded by saying, "It is good that Modi has pointed out that many people have spread propaganda against vaccines, and added, "Hope his govt takes action against such people and punishes Ministers who are always at the service of such anti-science people."
Lastly it is good that Modi has pointed out that many people have spread propaganda against vaccines. Hope his govt takes action against such people & punishes Ministers who are always at the service of such anti-science people. 7/n pic.twitter.com/dSeG2ognqM— Asaduddin Owaisi (@asadowaisi) June 7, 2021
In a key development, Prime Minister Narendra Modi while addressing the nation on Monday announced the 100% Centralisation of the vaccination drive against the COVID-19 pandemic, which will be implemented within two weeks. Scrapping the decentralized policy rolled out on May 1, he added that the Centre will account for the procurement of 75% of COVID-19 vaccines from the manufacturers and subsequently provide these free to the States for inoculation. The remaining 25% would be available for private players, with a cap on the service charge.
Also, marking the importance of Yoga Day, PM Modi said that from June 21 onwards all persons above the age of 18 years will be provided with free COVID-19 vaccines across all districts in the country. The Prime Minister added that the existing policy allowing private hospitals to procure 25% of doses from vaccine makers directly will be continued. However, striking down the differential vaccine prices across private institutions, PM Modi announced that hospitals can only charge a maximum of Rs 150 of service charge per vaccine dose. Monitoring of price capping at private hospitals will be done by the states, he announced.