Days after Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik wrote to Chief Ministers of all states asking them to unite over vaccine procurement, now Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy has asked his counterparts to speak in a single voice on the issue. States like Odisha, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh had floated global tenders for procuring vaccines. Having faced trouble in procuring vaccines, Jagan Reddy wrote to other Chief Ministers including Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan saying that the situation has transformed into a ‘States vs Union’ issue. He said that states now need to ‘speak in a single voice’.
“It is my request that as Chief Ministers, we speak in a single voice and urge the Government of India to take charge and responsibility of the vaccination drive, the way it was happening in the early part of the year,” he said.
Andhra Pradesh has witnessed a sluggish vaccination drive and the global tender has received no response, leaving it at the mercy of Centre’s vaccine quota.
The letter comes in stark contrast to Reddy’s tone from a month ago when he countered Jharkhand CM Hemant Soren for targeting PM Narendra Modi. Soren had said on May 6 that PM Modi called him and only spoke his mind without bothering to listen. Responding to his tweet, Jagan Reddy had said that these are the times not to point fingers but to come together and strengthen the hands of our Prime Minister to effectively combat the pandemic.
However, in a letter written to CMs yesterday, Reddy termed the Centre’s decision to allow states to decide on vaccine procurement as ‘unwarranted’ especially when there are so many constraints in vaccine production. He said that the vaccination drive itself has been ‘plagued by multiple coordination issues’.
He said that a centralised and coordinated vaccination drive supported by the state would lead to better results for the people of India.