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Home Fact-Check Political Fact-Check Is Modi govt giving Coronavirus vaccines for 'free' only to Bihar? No, that's not...

Is Modi govt giving Coronavirus vaccines for ‘free’ only to Bihar? No, that’s not how it works

In essence, no, Bihar is not getting special treatment from Centre ahead of elections. Centre will give vaccine, whenever it is developed, to all states at nominal price and the state governments will decide whether to make it free or charge people for the same.

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday while releasing the BJP manifesto in Bihar for upcoming elections said that the BJP promises free coronavirus vaccines in Bihar, whenever the vaccine is made available.

The remarks by the senior BJP leader did not go down too well with some and called the move of not promising ‘free vaccine to all’ as ‘cruel’.

Furthering her rant, Singh wondered what is the use of PMCARES fund.

Well, since the ‘journalist’ does not really like to keep herself updated, the vaccine development in India is actually backed by PMCARES fund.

Pro-Congress trolls then got the wheels of their fertile imagination rolling and started wondering when will the vaccine be made available to them depending on election schedule of states.

That this conversation was had in full seriousness baffles one.

Similarly, other trolls immediately put out a message to chief ministers of non-BJP states to figure out a way to make vaccines free for citizens.

However, that is not the case. Here is how vaccination works in India:

Vaccination is state subject

BJP IT cell head Amit Malviya took to Twitter to clarify that vaccination is a state subject.

He explained that like all other immunisation programmes, the Centre will provide vaccines to states at nominal rate. This will include BJP-ruled and non-BJP ruled states. Then it is up to the states to charge for vaccines or not. Health is a state subject and should BJP come to power in Bihar, they have promised to make the vaccine free. Similarly, non-BJP ruled states like Delhi, Maharashtra, West Bengal can choose to either make vaccines free for all or charge its citizens for the same.

This could be compared to the Shramik Special trains ferried amid the lockdown for stranded migrant workers and others who wanted to go to their home state. The Indian Railways had charged nominally from the respective state governments for running the trains. It was then up to the state governments whether to recover the fare from migrant workers for journey on Shramik Special trains.

In essence, no, Bihar is not getting special treatment from Centre ahead of elections. Centre will give vaccine, whenever it is developed, to all states at nominal price and the state governments will decide whether to make it free or charge people for the same.

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