PM Modi sent 64% COVID vaccine abroad leading to second wave crisis: Mamata Banerjee

Bengal govt wanted to provide free vaccine to all voters, Banerjee said.

Trinamool Congress chief and West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday said that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led government at the Centre was responsible for creating the second wave of COVID-19 across the country.

Speaking at a public rally, she said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had exported 64 per cent vaccine to different countries, instead of leaving adequate supply for people in the country. “Now there are no medicines, and one is being pushed towards death,” she said. Banerjee said that “at the last minute”, the Centre has now allowed vaccines in open market. “But now that you are allowing vaccines in the open market that can be purchased, the question remains as to whether this is actually available. Are medicines and vaccines available?” she asked.

From May 1, everyone above 18 years of age will be eligible to get vaccinated against COVID-19, according to the announcement made by the Centre on Monday. The Centre has also “liberalised” the vaccination drive in allowing states, private hospitals and industrial establishments to get vaccines directly from manufacturers.

However, there has been a dearth of vaccines reported across the country, including in West Bengal. Mamata Banerjee has written to PM Modi asking the Centre to increase the supply of vaccines, medicines and oxygen. Banerjee has been mentioning in various rallies that she had asked the Centre to allow Bengal government to offer free vaccine to all voters in the state ahead of the Assembly polls. She said that the Centre had not responded to it, though the request was made before the announcement of elections and before the model code of conduct came into effect.