There is no end to politics by opposition parties over the Covid-19 pandemic. Ever since vaccinations for the virus has started, the opposition parties are making conflicting statements and demands over the issue. When the vaccination was started by the central govt, Congress and other opposition ruled states had demanded that they should be allowed more say in its administration. But when the centre allowed the states to vaccinate the population in the age group 18-44, the same states are finding it difficult to do so.
An example of such conflicting views on vaccinations was seen from the same party on the same day. On 14th May, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi demanded that vaccine purchase should be centralised and distribution decentralised. Saying that the union government’s vaccine policy is compounding the problem, he demanded that central govt should purchase vaccines and give them to the state governments, and the states should be allowed to run vaccinations on their own.
GOI’s vaccine policy is compounding the problem.— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) May 14, 2021
Vaccine purchase should be centralised and distribution decentralised.
India cannot afford this.
On the same day, less than an hour after Rahul Gandhi’s tweet, Congress leader from Karnataka DK Shivakumar made a completely opposite statement. The Karnataka Congress president said that the “Congress Party would like permission to directly approach vaccine makers across the world and procure them”. He claimed that despite being the opposition party in the state, they will show that they “can do the vaccination drive better and faster than Modi and Yediyurappa together are able to”.
Congress Party would like permission to directly approach vaccine makers across the world and procure them. We will show that we can do the vaccination drive better and faster than Modi and Yediyurappa together are able to. #LetCongressVaccinate#Congress100CrorePlan— DK Shivakumar (@DKShivakumar) May 14, 2021
Shivakumar said that his party has decided to vaccinate people themselves, alleging that the central and state govts have failed to vaccinate most of Karnataka months after vaccine manufacturing began. He sought permission to use MLA and MP development funds to procure vaccines. “Since they can’t do it,they should let us do it”, he added.
The Congress leader said that they have a Rs 100 crore plan to begin with, out of which Rs 90 crore will come from Congress MLA/MLC funds, and the rest Rs 10 crore is the party’s commitment from its own funds. He added that more funds will be raised from the public and they will tie up with hospitals and clinics to administer the vaccines.
While the Karnataka Congress leader claims that they would be able to purchase vaccines with Rs 100 crore fund, the fact is the central govt has already allocated Rs 35,000 crore towards the same. The lack of vaccines is not lack of funds, or not even not ordering vaccines as the Congress party and many others are alleging. The issue with the vaccine manufacturing process, which is time consuming and can’t be scaled up instantly.
This means, there are not enough vaccines being produced, and arranging money and giving orders will not ensure instant vaccine delivery.