The Union Government took a U-turn in its vaccination policy, stating that vaccines will now be purchased by the Union Government for states and will vaccinate those above 18 years of age for free. And right after, BJP’s national General Secretary BL Santhosh has come out blaming the states. Taking to Twitter, he blamed that many states were ‘inefficient’ in handling the vaccination drive. Notably, the Union Government revised the vaccination policy after multiple demands from state governments and the intervention of the Supreme Court.
“It required only 36 days for the bogey of federalism to flop. It was not federalism on display. It was inefficiency & anarchy on display in many states. They needed freedom. When they were given they found it was too much for them .Today again PM @narendramodi who pitched in,” BL Santhosh said in the tweet. While announcing the revised policy, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had also criticised the states, saying the state government demanded decentralisation of the vaccination process but was not able to handle ‘obstacles’. The BJP General Secretary’s tweet is also on par with the statement of the PM, saying that handling the vaccination process was ‘too much’ for the states.
However, though multiple states had announced that they will provide vaccines for everyone above 18 years of age free of cost, global tenders for the vaccine by many state governments were unanswered by the companies. Delhi and Punjab governments came out stating that companies like Moderna and Pfizer stated that they will only deal with the Union Government and not the states. Tamil Nadu was one of the states which floated global tenders, but there were no takers. However, the Union Government’s revision of vaccine policy came right after the Supreme Court pulled up the government’s vaccination policy, calling it arbitrary and irrational.
The Supreme Court which took a suo motu case on the vaccine policy of the Union government, had come down stating that there should be uniform pricing for the vaccines and that it is discriminatory that the states need to pay for more. After the Union Government defended its policy, the SC on May 31 asked the Union Government to furnish files and data on vaccine purchase, vaccine policy and how the Union budget allocation of Rs 35,000 crores was utilized for vaccine procurement. The revised vaccination policy comes after this.
It required only 36 days fir the bogey of federalism to flop . It was not federalism at display. It was inefficiency & anarchy at display in many states. They needed freedom. When they were given they found it was too much for them .Today again PM @narendramodi who pitched in.— B L Santhosh (@blsanthosh) June 7, 2021