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Rahul, Chidambaram hit out at Centre’s vaccination policy

Photograph used for representational purposes only   | Photo Credit: S.S. Kumar

Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and P. Chidambaram on Friday slammed the Union government on the vaccination policy.

Mr. Gandhi said on Twitter, “GOI’s vaccine policy is compounding the problem. Vaccine purchase should be centralised and distribution decentralised. India cannot afford this”. The former party chief pitched for centralised purchase and decentralised distribution of vaccines.

In a series of tweets, Mr. Chidambaram pointed out the Narendra Modi government’s “flip-flops” on the issue of compulsory licensing to allow other manufacturers to produce the approved vaccines. The former Union Finance Minister tweeted to ask if people could trust “this government to protect one’s life and livelihood”.

“We have heard of double-faced, but this government has three faces. Face 1: India joins South Africa and tells the world that IPR (patent rights) for Covid vaccines must be suspended. Face 2: On May 9, the government files an affidavit in the SC claiming that bringing vaccine patents under the statutory regime (that is compulsory licensing) will be “counter productive”. Face 3: On May 13, NITI Aayog member, Dr. V.K. Paul supports the manufacture of Covaxin by other private manufacturers (through compulsory licensing),” he said.

Central Vista project

In another set of tweets, he targeted the government on the Central Vista project that includes the construction of a new Parliament building and new homes for the Prime Minister and the Vice-President.

“Cost of vaccines to vaccinate all people over 18 years (about 102 crores) is ₹ 35,000 crore. Cost of Central Vista is ₹20,000 — may be more. Cost of one person’s vanity = 60 per cent of the value of lives of the adult population of India. This is ‘sabka saath, sabka vikaas’,” he tweeted.


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Printable version | Jun 18, 2021 4:46:47 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/rahul-gandhi-chidambaram-slam-centres-vaccination-policy/article34555496.ece

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