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Ahead of MP bypolls, Chouhan says poor in the State will get COVID-19 vaccine free of cost

Madhya Pradesh CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan   | Photo Credit: PTI

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has announced the COVID-19 vaccine will be administered free to the poor, ahead of the byelection to 28 Assembly seats.

After the BJP promised Bihar residents free vaccination against COVID-19 in its Assembly election manifesto, Mr. Chouhan said, “Control over the COVID-19 pandemic has been achieved to a great extent in Madhya Pradesh, but the permanent cure is a vaccine. The State government has decided the COVID-19 vaccine will be administered free to the poor who can’t afford it.”

The Congress has previously accused the BJP of delaying its response to the pandemic in view of the political turmoil in March, which brought down its government. Only after Mr. Chouhan was sworn in as the Chief Minister was the nationwide lockdown imposed a day later.

Stating the State government’s effort was to protect the poor, Mr. Chouhan said, “Madhya Pradesh has previously given support to the poor on several counts, now it will ensure their protection from COVID-19 too.”

Alleging Mr. Chouhan had made a U-turn on his previous announcement that the vaccine would be provided to all residents free, State Congress media coordinator Narendra Saluja said, “Now he is saying it will be administered to the poor who’re not financially capable. A classification even among the poor?”

He added, “Looking at the threat posed by the pandemic, he should make the vaccine available free to all citizens of Madhya Pradesh.”

“A COVID-19 vaccine has not yet been developed, still there is an announcement to distribute it free,” said K.K. Mishra, State Congress media in-charge for Gwalior-Chambal. “This is like printing marriage invitation cards even before the person's birth. Only BJP can do something like this — is this called ‘opportunity during a pandemic’?

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Printable version | Nov 26, 2020 4:35:36 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/poor-in-madhya-pradesh-to-get-covid-19-vaccine-free-of-cost-says-cm-shivraj-singh-chouhan/article32925899.ece

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