As soon as the BJP included the promise of providing free COVID-19 vaccine to people of poll-bound Bihar in its manifesto, as and when it is approved, vaccine politics has begun in the country. Following his party’s declaration in Bihar, Madhya Pradesh CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan also announced a free vaccine for all, only to tweak it later. The Madhya Pradesh CM had tweeted that his government has taken a lot of steps to defeat COVID and protect the citizens. “India is working fast to prepare a vaccine. As soon as the vaccine is ready, every person of Madhya Pradesh will get it for free.” However, Chouhan later deleted his tweet and rephrased his promise.
In his amended promise, he said, “Currently the country is in vaccine trial mode, country’s poor are discussing if they will be able to afford the vaccine. I want to make it clear that in Madhya Pradesh, every poor will get a free vaccine. We will win this fight.”
Just six days ahead of the first phase of Bihar assembly elections, the BJP has launched its manifesto in presence of Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Bihar BJP chief Sanjay Jaiswal and National General Secretary Bhupendra Yadav in Patna. The manifesto titled as ‘5 Sutra, 1 Lakshaya, 11 Sankalp’ is based on BJP’s campaign theme for this year’s assembly polls in the state – ‘Aatmanirbhar Bihar’. The party which is banking on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s policies and decisions at the Centre alongside Nitish Kumar’s development agenda for coming to power has promised to provide free vaccine to the state subjects as and when it is approved.
While unveiling the manifesto, Union Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said, “As soon as COVID-19 vaccine will be available for production at a mass scale, every person in Bihar will get free vaccination. This is the first promise mentioned in our poll manifesto.”
Similarly, Tami Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami on Thursday announced that once the coronavirus vaccine is ready, it will be provided to all people of the state free of cost. The Tami Nadu government’s decision came ahead of next year’s Assembly elections. Recently the two warring factions in AIADMK – of Deputy CM O Pannerselvam (OPS) and CM E Palaniswami (EPS), reconciled after the party named incumbent E Palaniswamy as its CM candidate and O Panneerselvam as the chief of the 11-member steering committee.