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‘Rs 30,000 crore is nothing’: Bengal CM Mamata demands universal vaccine drive

By Saima Siddiqui 
Updated Date
‘Rs 30,000 crore is nothing’: Bengal CM Mamata demands universal vaccine drive

Kolkata: West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Saturday targeted BJP-led central government for not allotting Rs 30,000 crore for universal vaccination programme alleging that it is nothing for the Centres.

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“Why are they (BJP) not allotting Rs 30,000 crores for vaccines when they are making new Parliament and statues, spending Rs 20,000. Where is the PM CARES Fund?,” the CM questioned while addressing the state Assembly. “Rs 30,000 crore is nothing for the Central government… There should be a universal vaccine program for all throughout the country.”

The attack comes after the TMC chief wrote two separate letters to prime minister Narendra Modi, the first requesting free vaccination against Covid-19 for all, and the second over oxygen allocation to the state.

Banerjee also took a dig at the saffron party for spending massive amounts of money during the recently-concluded state polls in West Bengal. “BJP has booked so many hotels for its leaders, Ministers from Centre and other states. There was a conspiracy, all ministers landed here. I don’t know how many crores they spent on planes and hotels. Money was flowing like water here,” she added. “If they gave vaccines instead of it, it would have been better for the state.”

The chief minister also said, “despite the fact that there is no vaccine and no oxygen in the state, we received a mandate now we have to work for the people of West Bengal battling with coronavirus disease.”

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The leader further alleged that the BJP is not ready to accept the public mandate post the debacle in the Assembly election. “Why is there so much discrimination with Bengal? They sent the central team within 24 hours of oath-taking. Actually, they (BJP) are not ready to accept the public mandate,” she said. “I never support violence. They are spreading fake news and fake videos.”

Banerjee went on to appreciate TMC leaders, and said the youths of the state have voted for her party, “It is a new morning for a party,” she announced. “TMC has been elected back in power in a landslide mandate. It is a miracle and historic. This was because of the people of Bengal and the women in Bengal.”

Earlier this month, the ruling TMC and the BJP locked horns in what was a fierce contest across eight phases in West Bengal. While the former sealed a majority with 213, the BJP garnered 77 seats in the 294-seat state assembly. Elections for two seats in Murshidabad were postponed due to the death of candidates, who succumbed to Covid-19 complication.

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