Congress leader Archana Dalmia, currently serving as Chairperson of the party’s Grievances Cell, has posted controversial tweets mocking the voters of Bihar for not voting them. In the first tweet, she said that the poor people of Bihar seem to have fallen for the ‘fake promise’ of free Covid vaccine.
She claimed if people did not get 15-lakh as “promised” by PM Narendra Modi, they should at least ask for a free vaccine. In the second tweet, she alleged it seems BJP had successfully lured poor people of Bihar to vote NDA for free Covid vaccine. In the process, she indirectly called the voters of Bihar greedy.
Dalmiya seems to have been having a hard time accepting her party’s abysmal performance in Bihar and as a result, has been blaming the voters in Bihar, stereotyping them as poor and greedy.
Providing vaccine for free is a state matter
When BJP released the manifesto for Bihar elections, they promised free vaccine for every citizen of the state if they come back to power. At that time, the opposition parties claimed that the central government is luring the voters for the free vaccine. They also alleged that NDA wants to give the free vaccine to only one state.
In a fact-check done by OpIndia, we found that the allegations were completely wrong. On 22nd October, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that BJP promises a free Covid vaccine for the people of Bihar if NDA comes back in power. Soon after, several media personalities and leaders alleged that the Centre is providing free vaccine only for Bihar to win the assembly elections.
However, the truth is that under the existing immunisation programme, the Union government makes the vaccines available to states at a nominal rate. Making the vaccines available to the citizens for free is the state’s prerogative. Also, aiding vaccine development is one of the aspects covered under the PMCARES fund.
The ’15 lakh promise’ is another lie that has been repeated ad nauseam by sullen Congress leaders when they fail bring up any credible issue to criticise the BJP government.