The BJP had announced free COVID19 vaccine for Bihar, when assembly polls began this week; it had further kicked up a controversy with the opposition parties tearing into the NDA government alleging that the ruling party was using the pandemic for political reasons.
Union minister Pratap Sarangi on Sunday announced that all people of the country will be given free COVID-19 vaccine, amidst the demand by opposition parties in the country for it and not only in poll-bound Bihar as announced by the BJP.
Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman had also said that the announcement was acceptable as it was an election manifesto announcement.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has also announced that all people will be provided free of cost vaccine. An estimated Rs. 500 odd will be spent on vaccination of each person, Sarangi said after addressing a campaign meeting for the November 3 assembly by-poll in Balasore.
In a television address to the nation on October 20, Modi had said that Indian scientists are in the process of developing several vaccines that are at different stages of clinical trials and the results seem encouraging.
Sarangi, the union minister of state for animal husbandry, dairy, fisheries and micro, small and medium enterprises spoke in reply to question raised by Odisha Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare Minister, R P Swain.
The governments of Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh, Assam and Puduchchery have already announced free of cost COVID-19 vaccines for the people of their states, while Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal has demanded free vaccine for all citizens across the country.