On Friday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had chaired an all-party meeting to discuss on Coronavirus situation in India. The Prime Minister has said that around eight vaccines are currently at different stages of trial, and once they are ready, it will be released. On this background, the opposition leaders have raised their demand for a free cost Covid-19 vaccine for everyone in India. Several other leaders have even raised questions regarding the pricing of the Covid-19 vaccine.
Earlier, Congress and Shiv Sena have demanded that the vaccine should be supplied among large sections of the public. Also, leader of opposition in Rajya Sabha, Ghulam Nabi Azad, has steered clear about it during the deliberations. Azad expressed his hope that the vaccine would be supplied without delay.
Yesterday, through a tweet, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi expressed his hope regarding the free Covid vaccine. He tweeted, "In today's all-party meeting, we hope the PM clarifies by when will every Indian get free Covid vaccine." Even Congress leader Jairam Ramesh in a tweet reminded that the BJP had promised to supply free vaccines in Bihar.
Shiv Sena MP Vinayak Raut stressed that the government must provide vaccines free of cost to health workers, police, senior citizens and among all other frontline workers.
Recently, Chhattisgarh was the state to raise the demand for free Covid vaccine. On Wednesday, Bhupesh Baghel, Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh, wrote a letter to Modi demanding that the vaccine be supplied on a priority basis to the state. In a letter, he said, “Chhattisgarh is completely ready to implement the Covid-19 vaccination programme. I urge you that for this, Chhattisgarh, a tribal-dominated state, should be given priority for being included in the first phase, and the vaccine should be made available for free.”
He further added, “I am confident that you will consider my request for providing free and priority access to vaccines for Chhattisgarh.”
Senior Congress and Shiv Sena leaders from Maharashtra have demanded that the Union government should make a promise to provide free Covid-19 vaccine in Maharashtra since the BJP had promised free Covid-19 vaccine in Bihar as a poll issue.
On Thursday, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi took a dig at the BJP's vaccine promise through Twitter.
The other state that has already raised the same demand is Telangana. Senior leaders of Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) have urged the Centre to supply free of cost Covid-19 vaccine to Hyderabad on a priority basis.
Madhya Pradesh and Assam governments have also declared that they would also provide free of cost Covid-19 vaccine. Even Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami had said that once the vaccine is ready for usage, the government will provide the vaccine free of cost to all the people of the state.