AAP, BJP trade barbs over private COVID vaccination centres in Delhi

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By Express News Service

NEW DELHI: Vaccination drives conducted by private hospitals have triggered a political slugfest between Aam Aadmi Party and BJP in Delhi.

AAP MLA Atishi on Sunday alleged that Covid vaccines that were supposed to be supplied to the states are being diverted to private hospitals so that BJP MLAs can “fill their pockets with commission”.

However, the BJP’s Delhi unit said AAP leaders “are campaigning” for highly priced foreign-made vaccines’ manufacturers and every time made “recorded” statements on vaccine shortage when Bharat Biotech and the Serum Institute of India have assured normal supply in the next 10-15 days.

Addressing a press conference, AAP spokesperson and MLA Atishi said that the BJP is earning “heavy commission” through private hospitals and a “proof” of this has emerged from Karnataka.

The incident involves BJP MP Tejasvi Surya and his uncle Ravi Subramanya, an MLA in Karnataka, of allegedly making money through vaccines, she said. The Congress has already demanded that an FIR be registered against them and they be removed as MP and MLA respectively.

The BJP leaders have, however, denied the charge.

Atishi claimed that private hospitals and hotels have a huge supply of vaccines and are charging rates ranging from Rs 900 to Rs 1,400.  The state governments which have been inoculating people for free have zero stock available, she said.

The saffron camp, while refuting Atishi’s allegations, has also cited state ministers inaugurating drive-in-vaccination facilities set up by private facilities across the national capital. Incidently, on the same day, state Health Minister Satyendar Jain inaugurated a drive-in vaccination at DLF Avenue Mall in Saket organised by Max Healthcare “wherein people can get vaccinated in the comfort of their cars”, read a statement. 

Last week, CM Arvind Kejriwal and Dy CM Manish Sisodia were seen launching such initiatives by private hospitals.

“AAP leaders say that they want free vaccines but they campaign for import of highly-priced foreign vaccines which no government can provide for free,” Delhi BJP spokesperson Praveen Shankar Kapoor said.

Kapoor further said AAP leaders “pretend” to be against highly-priced vaccination centres like malls, hotels and private hospitals. “But every other day we find Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and his ministers inaugurating such vaccination centres in the city,” he added.



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