Kerala

CPI(M) to rally people against Centre

A 120-bed domiciliary care centre for asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic COVID-19 patients has been readied at Kaloor in Kochi where a vaccination site is also functioning. People who have received the vaccine are seen resting at the centre on Friday.   | Photo Credit: THULASI KAKKAT

The Communist Party of India (Marxist) [CPI(M)] has sought to rouse civic society to donate liberally to the State government's bid to supply COVID-19 vaccines free of cost to the population.

CPI(M) acting State secretary A. Vijayaraghavan said here on Friday that the scheme would cost the public exchequer an estimated ₹1,300 crore.

The pandemic had cratered the State's public finances. The government had spent heavily to cushion society from the hardships wrought by the plague. The plague situation demanded more public spending on COVID-19 management, emergency health care and welfare.

Hence, the CPI(M) had asked party workers, service organisations, left trade unions, mass organisations, leftists, humanists and philanthropists to contribute to the Chief Minister's Distress Relief Fund.

The "vaccine challenge" donation campaign would spotlight the Centre's "abandonment of States" in a time of dire need.

Mr. Vijayaraghavan alleged the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) at the Centre had no value for human life. It had allowed vaccine manufacturers to sell 50% of their production to the highest bidder in the open market.

The State governments had to outbid powerful players in the private health sector to get vaccine doses for their respective citizens. The Centre had forsaken its constitutional obligation to States.

It had abandoned the country to the vagaries of the pandemic. The Centre had dismally failed to build health infrastructure or stock up on medical oxygen and life-saving drugs despite warnings of a more aggressive second COVID wave. It had lost precious time.

Instead, the BJP allowed corporates to benefit from the crisis. The Centre kept out the public sector from vaccine production. Its response to the pandemic was discriminatory and anti-people.

Union Minister of State for External Affairs V. Muraleedharan had callously reacted to the State’s vaccine requirement by saying the government should tap the open market, Mr. Vijayaraghavan alleged.

He said that on April 28, Keralites would muster themselves in protest against the Centre. Residents would stand in front of their houses from 5 p.m. to 5.30 p.m. with placards condemning the Centre’s vaccine policy and refusal to come to the State’s aid.


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Printable version | Jun 21, 2021 10:41:48 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/cpim-to-rally-people-against-centre/article34393750.ece

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