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Samajwadi Party’s Covid politics: Why they want to derail the vaccination drive in Uttar Pradesh

Following the footsteps of his leader, Ashutosh Sinha, an MLC from Samajwadi Party went a step further and said, the vaccine may cause impotency and no worker of Samajwadi party should take this vaccine and no citizen of Uttar Pradesh should take this vaccine.

World has understood that vaccine is humanity’s only saviour against the deadly Coronavirus along with Covid appropriate behavior. India is among a handful of countries in the world which have developed their own vaccines and running world’s largest vaccination drive. India is the fastest country globally to administer 17 crore vaccines to its citizens.

This number is equivalent to vaccinating half of America’s population and 2.5 times of UK’s population. Uttar Pradesh’ Yogi government has contributed significantly to this number. As of today, Yogi government has administered 1.37 Crore doses, including 13.6 lacs dozes in 18+ category through its 6076 vaccination centers across all the 75 districts.

In the first and second phase of vaccination, hesitancy and doubt created around the vaccine caused wide-spread fear around the Covid vaccination. Akhilesh Yadav, the president of Samajwadi Party, in a press conference sent a very irresponsible and unscientific message to his followers, that this is ‘BJP’s vaccine’ and ‘I will not take this vaccine’.

In the 2017 assembly elections, 3.5 crore voters of Uttar Pradesh voted for the BJP and around 1.8 crore voters voted for Samajwadi Party. By his irresponsible political statement around the Covid vaccine, Akhilesh Yadav has played with the lives of crores of people.

Following the footsteps of his leader, Ashutosh Sinha, an MLC from Samajwadi Party went a step further and said, the vaccine may cause impotency and no worker of Samajwadi party should take this vaccine and no citizen of Uttar Pradesh should take this vaccine.

On one hand Yogi government is making all the possible efforts to vaccinate a sizable population of Uttar Pradesh, which can lead to heard immunity, Akhilesh Yadav and his party are working hard to create doubt and hesitancy around the vaccine. But Citizens of Uttar Pradesh have sniffed the dirty smell of politics in Akhilesh Yadav’s anti-vaccine statements and shown their anger on social media.

Speaking on Covaxin, India’s home-grown Covid-19 vaccine, Dr Anthony Fauci, White House chief medical adviser and America’s top pandemic expert commented that Covaxin can neutralise the B.1.617 variant of the deadly Covid virus. As per Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), only a miniscule 0.02% to 0.04% people got infected after taking first and second dozes of the vaccine respectively.

Doctors have widely commented that, the patient who tested Covid positive, even after the 1st doze of the vaccine, got very mild symptoms in most of the cases, as the vaccine teaches our immune system to make antibodies against the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus. But these scientific facts bear no importance in front of the politics of Samajwadi Party, whose leaders are calling upon citizens of Uttar Pradesh NOT to take the vaccine.

Good news is that even after Akhilesh Yadav’s and other Samajwadi Party leaders’ repeated attempts to create doubt about the indigenous Covid vaccines, youth of Uttar Pradesh are registering on the CoWin app with full enthusiasm since the 18+ category was opened in the third phase of the vaccination drive and vaccination slots are getting booked rapidly. Simultaneously Yogi government is taking all the required steps to make up for this increased demand by floating a global tender for 5 crore vaccines for the state of Uttar Pradesh, over the vaccines being supplied by the central government for the states.

In the past Rahul Gandhi and other Chief Ministers of the Congress ruled states also tried to create doubt about the indigenous vaccines and that has created vaccine hesitancy among people in phase 1 and phase 2 of vaccination, which is proving detrimental in the second wave of Covid now. It’s unfortunate that many politicians see the tragedy as a political opportunity and don’t leave any chance to create confusion, panic and misinformation.

As soon as Yogi Adityanath recovered from Covid-19, he is on the run – personally checking availability of beds, oxygen, medicine supplies in hospitals, visiting the vaccination centers across the state and creating solutions with local, national or international help as needed.

When people of Uttar Pradesh are in trouble, Akhilesh Yadav has locked himself comfortably in his palatial house in Lucknow and just peddled negativity through social media. If you check the Facebook or Twitter wall of Akhilesh Yadav, his every post is cashing on the pain of the Covid patients. After being rejected repeatedly by the people of Uttar Pradesh in the 2017 assembly elections and 2019 Lok Sabha elections, Akhilesh is dreaming of a better performance in 2022 state elections, riding on the miseries of the Covid Patients. And that’s why probably he does not want Covid situation to improve in Uttar Pradesh and hence he and Samajwadi Party want to derail the Corona Vaccination drive in Uttar Pradesh.

But people of Uttar Pradesh are wise enough to imagine their miserable condition if a non-serious and un-scientific politician like Akhilesh Yadav would have been heading the state in such times. Mainstream media may never concede but UP’s fightback against Covid has been phenomenal in last very difficult 10 days. Another state in similar situation – Maharashtra was out of control for over a month, when its population is almost half of UP and historically it’s a resourceful state.

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Shantanu Gupta
Shantanu Gupta
Author. Biographer of Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath, titled The Monk Who Became Chief Minister. Founder of youth based organization Yuva Foundation.

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