Mamata announces free COVID-19 vaccination

BJP says TMC is ‘rushing to take credit’

A fresh controversy erupted after Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s letter to health workers in the State, in which she says that her government would provide the COVID-19 vaccine free of cost to the people, became available to the public domain. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leadership has alleged that the Trinamool Congress (TMC) was trying to take credit of the vaccine roll-out.

“You are aware that a vaccine for COVID-19 is in the process. I want to inform with joy that the State government will make the vaccine available free of cost to every person of the State,” Ms. Banerjee says in the letter.

In the letter, Ms. Banerjee has highlighted that the vaccine will be made available to police personnel, Home Guard members of the disaster management force, and frontline healthcare personnel.

“Pishi [aunt, referring to Ms. Banerjee] was a disaster when it came to managing Covid. From doctors to policemen, everyone protested against Chief Minister’s apathy. But now that the center has announced free priority vaccination for 3 crore frontline workers across the country, Pishi is rushing to take credit,” BJP IT cell chief and co-in-charge for West Bengal Amit Malviya tweeted.

The development comes a day before Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to hold a meeting with the Chief Ministers of States on vaccine distribution. The Union government has announced that the vaccine will be administered to people starting January 16. It is not clear whether Ms. Mamata Banerjee will participate in the meeting or not.

BJP president J. P. Nadda on Saturday expressed the hope that the West Bengal Chief Minister will attend will attend the meeting.

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