Union authorities mulls counter-offensive towards its opponents; Punjab amongst states in its crosshairs

Ravi S Singh

Today News Online Service

New Delhi, June 7

The Union government mulls a counteroffensive against its opponents for allegedly creating a “false” Covid vaccine shortage narrative while ignoring its wastage and mismanagement by opposition ruled states.

Opposition ruled States including Punjab, Delhi AAP and Kerala are in their cross-hairs.

A concerted effort in full blast critique of the opposition parties and their governments in the states is expected soon.

Well placed source on Monday said that a government’s damage-control managers have compiled comprehensive data with analytics on the Central allocation of vaccine doses to states to inoculate citizens free of cost, and the alleged “truancy” and “levity of conduct” by the non-BJP governments.

Also, the alleged self-contradictory stand of senior opposition leaders including Rahul Gandhi regarding vaccines has been documented and catalogued.

The source said the feeling in government quarters is that the stand of opposition leaders was indulged in deliberately to first foster vaccine-hesitancy among the public, and then raise a bogey on shortage of vaccines.

“A well thought out toolkit was prepared and implemented as part of a political conspiracy to create a miasma of negativism on handling the second wave of Covid by the Centre with a to malign the image of Prime Minister Narendra Modi especially in view of the forthcoming elections in five states including Punjab and Uttar Pradesh,” the source said.

Union Minister of State for Finance and Corporate Affairs Anurag Thakur recently took a jibe at the Congress for its governments’ handling of the vaccines by its governments in Punjab and Rajasthan.

“While somewhere black marketing of vaccines, they are being dumped as garbage in another,” Thakur said.

Union Minister for Housing and Urban Affairs Hardeep Singh Puri had also waded into the Punjab government for allegedly selling the vaccines provided by the Centre to private hospitals at higher costs.

The source said that the data prepared on the country’s inventory of Covid vaccines says the Punjab government vaccinated only 65 % of health workers till June 4.

First dose coverage of vaccination to frontline workers and 45+ population was 91 % and 32 %respectively in Punjab.

Concerning vaccine allocated by the Centre and used by the States, the doses available with Punjab was 4.4 lakh on January 21 but utilised only 60,000.

Doses available in February was 10.8 lakh, but utilisation was only 1.3 lakh. Doses available in March was 13.7 lakh, but only 6.5 lakh utilised( unutilised 50 %).

The dossier prepared further says that the wastage of vaccine in Punjab was 2.5 %. As many as 56.84 lakh free doses were provided to the State by Centre;1.4 lakh doses wasted.

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