Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal today said that procurement of vaccines is not state governments’ work and urged the Centre to provide vaccines to the states. “I want to tell PM Narendra Modi that every chief minister of the country is standing with you as a soldier leaving behind politics and party. Whatever responsibility you will give us, we will fulfil all responsibility. But the work that is not ours, how will the state governments do it? A work which is to be done by the Centre, the Central government will have to do that. How can we do that? You procure the required vaccine and give it to states. Vaccinating people is our job and we will do that,” said Kejriwal in a virtual press conference.
Kejriwal then drew a comparison of the current situation with a hypothetical Indo-Pak war to prove his point. “Our country is fighting a war against COVID. At this time, one cannot say that all state governments should look after their respective needs. If Pakistan attacks us tomorrow, will the Centre say that the state should secure themselves – UP buys their tanks and Delhi buys their weapons. This is not the way. We cannot lose this war….It’s time for India to work unitedly. This is the time for all governments to work as Team India,” said Kejriwal.
The Delhi CM claimed that the Centre delayed the start of India’s vaccination programme by six months. “Across the World, countries have started vaccinating their people. But in India, rather than vaccinating our own people, the vaccines were sent abroad. Had we started the vaccination programme earlier, we could have saved many people from the second wave,” he said.
He said that states have tried to procure vaccines but failed. “Every CM has tried to procure vaccines but no state has been able to arrange them. Many states took out global tenders but failed,” he said.
The chief minister said states are ready to support the Centre in the fight against coronavirus. He said that Delhi has no stock left for the 18-44 age group and the stock of Covaxin for the elderly has also been finished.