Congress asks PM why he is not adopting “India First” approach in vaccination

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The Congress on Friday asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi why he is not adopting “India First” approach in vaccinating its citizens and questioned why six crore vaccine doses were exported out of the country when Indians were not getting them. Congress spokesperson Shaktisinh Gohil said at a virtual press conference that the government should bring in transparency in its vaccine policy and provide the vaccine to all Indians first, instead of providing it to citizens of other countries.

He also accused the prime minister of attacking the federal structure and insulting the Constitution by talking directly to district magistrates across the country on COVID strategy. “I want to ask the prime minister – Why don’t you adopt the policy of ‘India First’ like the Americans do. Why did you export the vaccine to other countries when Indians needed it most,” he asked.

Gohil said the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Health had said in its report on October 16 that Indians should be the first ones to get the vaccine and had asked the government to ensure this. “We wish to ask the government to bring complete transparency in your vaccine policy and ask why recommendations of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Health have not been implemented,” he asked.

The Congress leader said while many countries have vaccinated a majority of their population, India is lagging far behind.

Gohil also asked why the prime minister was announcing free vaccines to all citizens in Bihar and West Bengal, where elections were held and why the entire country could vaccinate for free by utilising the amount earmarked for vaccines. “Why are you burdening the states and asking them to buy vaccines of their own,” he asked.

Gohil also attacked the prime minister for interacting directly with district magistrates across the country and alleged, “This is an attack on the federal structure and an insult of the Constitution of India“. SKC AAR AAR


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