Bhubaneswar: The Odisha Congress on Friday hit out at the BJP-led Central Government and the BJD-led Government in the State over the vaccination drive in the State.
Addressing a presser in Bhubaneswar, Congress MP from Koraput, Saptagiri Sankar Ulaka, Jatani MLA Suresh Routray and Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) working president Pradeep Majhi demanded the immediate vaccination of 4.5 crore population of the State.
The Congress leaders also demanded the Centre for universal free vaccination for 130 crore people in the country. They also demanded both the Central and State governments for making alternative arrangements for vaccinating people in the tribal and western belts of Odisha.
Ulaka alleged while Chief Ministers of other states are directly asking the Centre to procure Covid-19 vaccines, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has been hesitating to do so.
Targeting CM Naveen Patnaik, Ulaka said "This is saddening that the global tender floated by CM Naveen Patnaik did not even had participation from companies like Bharat Biotech and Serum Institute. The CM is hesitating to tell the Prime Minister to procure vaccines. Instead, he (Naveen Patnaik) is insisting the CMs of other states to tell the PM about the vaccine requirement," the MP added.
"Many areas in undivided Koraput and parts of Western Odisha which are dominated by tribals do not have mobile phone connectivity. How will the people receive OTP for registration in CoWin portal," he asked.
"Therefore, alternative arrangements should be made for inoculating people in tribal and rural areas of the region," he demanded.
However, BJP State party spokesperson Jatin Mohanty countered the allegations and said that Congress has an old habit of bringing baseless accusation and the party is still to overcome the habit.
"They(Congress members) very well know that as the vaccines are manufactured in the country or procured from outside the country, they are being distributed to the states as per their population. Unless the entire 130 crore population of India is vaccinated, we cannot achieve victory in the battle against Covid-19," Mohanty stated.
"The Centre is taking all necessary measures for expanding the production of vaccines in India. External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar is on US visit in this regard. As soon as the Centre receives vaccines, it will be distributed among the states."
The Centre recently told the Supreme Court that one crore Covid vaccines will be available every day and the process will end by November-December, he said.
Mohanty further added, "This nothing but a nexus between Congress and BJD to target the BJP-run Central Government and politicise the vaccination drive in the country. However, they will never be successful in their attempt," stated the BJP spokesperson.