Ruling BJD, BJP cross swords over Odisha CM’s poster at Covid vaccination centres

Bhubaneswar: Hours after BJP workers protested the Health and Family Welfare Department’s decision putting up banners of Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik at Covid vaccination centres, the ruling BJD questioned the logic behind the opposition.

BJD MLA Debi Prasad Mishra asked whether the State has no role in organizing the Covid vaccination programme even if the Centre claims funding the drive. He further stated why the Covid vaccination progarmme is being politicized despite the fact that public money is being utilized for the inoculation drive.

The Covid vaccine should not be dubbed as Modi vaccine, Nitish vaccine, Stalin vaccine, Nitish vaccine or Naveen vaccine, Mishra said.

“Why some people are getting jealous when hoardings or photos are being placed. They want to create a controversy out of nothing to get political mileage,” he stated.

Earlier in the day, some BJP workers opposed placing of the Chief Minister’s posters near the vaccination centres in different places including Rayagada, Balasore and Angul.

A local BJP leader in Rayagada said when the Centre is providing the vaccine what is the logic behind putting up the Chief Minister’s picture at the vaccination centre. Above all, Patnaik’s image has been printed on the vaccination slips provided to the inoculated beneficiaries for second dose, he alleged.

In Angul, some BJP workers also tore down the Chief Minister’s poster at the vaccination centre.

Union Minister Pratap Sarangi accused the Odisha government of hijacking the welfare schemes sponsored by the Central government in order to garner people’s praise.

Sarangi said when the Central government has been carrying out the world’s largest free vaccination drive, the State government is trying to politicise the programme by placing the Chief Minister’s image at the vaccination centres.

He expected the State government will join the countrywide fight against Covid-19 while keeping aside its interests.

Worth mentioning, the Centre had announced Covid vaccine will be provided to all Indian citizens above 18 years of age from June 21 under its free vaccination policy. Accordingly, the vaccination programme was kickstarted across the country.

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