RAIPUR: The BJP and Congress were on Saturday engaged in a war of words in Chhattisgarh over the use of Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel’s photograph in digital COVID-19 vaccination certificates being issued to people in the 18-44 age group.
While the BJP criticized the move and called it cheap publicity, the Congress said there was nothing wrong in it as the cost of vaccination for this segment in the state was being borne by the Baghel government.
The state government, on May 12, launched its portal ‘CG Teeka’ for registration of vaccine beneficiaries in the 18-44 age group, and those who have registered and have got vaccinated are being given digital certificates with a photograph of Baghel.
“When the state government is bearing the cost of vaccination of people in the 18-44 years category, then it is no longer the Centre’s programme. When it has become a state programme, then there should be no objection in having the photo of the state’s chief minister on certificates,” state’s Health Minister TS Singh Deo told reporters.
“The Centre is funding vaccination of people above 45 years of age and certificates issued in this category through the CoWIN portal bears the photograph of the prime minister,” he added.
However, BJP MLA and former minister Brijmohan Agrawal said, “The Chhattisgarh government is focusing more on photo publicity instead of vaccinating youths. The application which they have launched has crashed”.
The entire country is using the Centre’s app, which is working well, but just for this photo gimmick, the Baghel government has launched its own app here, he added.
“It is also to be seen whether the certificates issued by the state government will be eligible for travel abroad,” the BJP leader said.