Bharatiya Janata Party national vice-president AP Abdullakutty has hit out Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan after the latter said that the Centre must provide vaccines free of cost. In a Facebook post, Abdullakutty said the vaccine should be administered for free to poor people only.
“Comrade Pinarayi, you are the interim head of a state with a debt of over Rs 2 lakh crore. You should stop this communist free political booze just for the sake of applauds,” Abdullakutty said, adding that the rich and middle class can pay for the vaccine, but the poor should get it for free.
Abdullakutty also cited the example of when former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh asked in the parliament whether cooking subsidy should be given for free to all or just the poor. “When Dr Manmohan Singh was the Prime Minister, he asked this question in the parliament. “Should cooking gas subsidy be given to all for free? Isn't it enough to give only to the poor? Under today's subsidy policy, all the rich and middle class, including Tata, Birla and Mukesh Ambani, will be given freebies. Shouldn't this be corrected? "
“Back then nobody in Indian politics answered this question. Even those elected did not speak up. But the Modi government was able to come with a reply to the question. The BJP government free cooking gas to the poor,” he said in the post.
Abdullakutty pointed out that the rich no longer have such subsidies thanks to Modi’s economics. He added that not everyone in Kerala needs to be vaccinated for free. “My wife and I received the vaccine from a hospital in Mangalore for Rs 250 as we were convinced that they were not entitled to it,” Abdullakutty said.
Pinarayi Vijayan had earlier written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi saying that the states’ finance would be strained if they need to buy vaccine from the manufacturers. However, during a press conference yesterday, Vijayan reiterated that the state would provide Covid-19 vaccines free of cost to all. “I have already stated in the past vaccination would be free in the state. I am not in the habit of changing my opinion,” he said.