Congress leader and Member of Parliament from Thiruvananthapuram, Shashi Tharoor, has slammed the central government from covid sickbed demanding to make vaccine “free for all”.
Tharoor released a nearly two-minute video with a caption, “My message from my covid sickbed. #SpeakUpForFreeUniversalVaccination”.
In the video, Tharoor said, "As you can see, I am in bed, suffering the complications of a long Covid infection. I just want to say to everybody... having seen the government statement that everybody will be vaccinated by end of December, while seeing the availability of vaccines or lack thereof the vaccines, I wonder how the government is going to get there."
"I support the Indian National Congress's campaign for a massive change in the government's policy to permit universal vaccination of all Indians within the promised deadline of December, and to do so free of cost," he said.
Earlier this week, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, who has been consistently criticizing the government’s vaccine policy, had tweeted, “Modi Govt’s non vaccination strategy is a dagger in Bharat Mata’s heart. Tragic truth.”
The union government has, however, maintained that India will vaccinate all its citizens by December this year. Union Minister Prakash Javadekar and ICMR chief Dr Balram Bhargava had made assurances in this regard.
In his video, Tharoor said, “It is unacceptable that this government should be demanding that states, private hospitals and others compete in some sort of market free for all to buy vaccines at different prices, extortionate prices in some cases, when the central government has an arrangement to buy vaccines at affordable prices and give them to the public for free. That was the policy at the beginning of the vaccination drive.
"Let us have a universal, free vaccination policy to save the nation from Covid. I have suffered a lot. I don't want my fellow citizens to suffer even a fraction of what I have done, and certainly not to do worse than me as so many have as the tragedy unfolded in the country," he said