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Nirmala Sitharaman 'not wrong' to promise free vaccine for Bihar

Thursday, October 22, 2020 • Tamil Comments

Nirmala Sitharaman not wrong to promise free vaccine for Bihar

On Thursday, there erupted a row when Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said at a presser that every Bihari will be vaccinated against COVID-19 for free. The FM said that the vaccine will be available for production on a mass scale.

The Minister's comments have created a flutter. Many have started alleging that the NDA government has got only vote-bank politics in mind and not the health of the general public. They are asking why the vulnerable and kids should not be the first ones to get vaccinated.

Supporters of the Minister, however, are arguing that there is nothing wrong in what Sitharaman said. "Bihar BJP is promising to distribute free vaccines to everyone if they come to power. She is campaigning for them as a senior BJP leader. Why the ruckus (sic)," wrote columnist Abhinav Prakash.

To put it in other words, if, say, the DMK makes a similar promise ahead of the Tamil Nadu elections, MK Stalin would say the same thing. It's because his government would have the prerogative to distribute the vaccine for free.

As social media influencer Vikas Pandey wrote, "Health is a state subject in India. The Centre will provide vaccines to States and just like the Food Security Bill, the Centre will provide vaccines to States for distribution at a nominal rate. It's upon the State governments to give it for free or sell it at a premium. Bihar State BJP has decided to give it for free! What's wrong in that?"

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