NEW DELHI: After proposing decentralisation of the vaccination policy, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal put the onus to procure Covid vaccines on the Centre saying that no state has been able to purchase additional stocks.
Pharma companies have clearly stated they will deal directly with the Centre, he said. The CM’s change in stand could be attributed to the fact that his government reached out to Pfizer and Moderna for vaccines but it was refused. Kejriwal went on to add that it is now time that the Centre and the states should come together to combat the virus.
The BJP was quick to latch on to the issue to attack the chief minister. “Arvind Kejriwal is spreading lies, confusion and doing politics of credit. I think that this kind of politics should not happen right now,” said BJP leader Sambit Patra. Detractors of the AAP chief point out that Kejriwal has taken a complete U-turn over the issue in a span of over a month. In March, well before the second wave started choking the city, Kejriwal had demanded the Centre to have “less control” over the vaccination policy and even asked it to grant the state governments more freedom to open vaccination centres and administer jabs.
“Our country is doing good in terms of vaccine production,” he had said at that time. However, two months down the line, after the Centre relaxed the rules and allowed the states to procure vaccines, the inoculation drive remains in a poor shape. What’s more, it is slowly grinding to a halt in many states including Delhi thanks to a severe shortage of jabs.
Incidently, Kejriwal’s flipflops on Covid vaccination run parallel to the perennial power tussle between the Delhi government and the central government. Be it criticisms on oxygen shortage or controlling the pandemic, Kejriwal has been quick on shifting the blame on the Centre for the challenges faced by the people.