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Delhi govt thanks Supreme Court for free vaccines as states welcome Centre’s new policy | India News – Times of India




NEW DELHI: States on Monday welcomed the Centre’s decision to provide free vaccines to them for the innoculation drive of all above 18 years of age.
While chief ministers of some opposition ruled states thanked PM Modi for accepting their demand, Delhi deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia said the Centre was forced to act after the intervention of Supreme Court, which had called the vaccination drive “irrational and arbitrary”.
On June 2, the Supreme Court had questioned the Centre’s policy of paid vaccination for 18-44 age group, saying it is “prima facie, arbitrary and irrational”.
“We express our gratitude to the Hon’ble Supreme Court that after its intervention, free vaccines will be available to all age groups across the country. If the central government wanted, it could have done this long ago, but due to the policies of the Centre, neither the states were able to buy the vaccines nor the central government was giving it,” Sisodia tweeted.
Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan said “Prime Minister’s declaration that Covid19 vaccine will be supplied free of cost to the States from 21 June, is the most appropriate response at this hour. I am happy that our request has been positively responded to by the Prime Minister.”
Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik also welcomed PM Modi’s announcement to provide vaccines to all above 18 years by the Centre free of cost saying no one is safe until everyone is vaccinated.
Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan expressed gratitude to PM Modi.
Speaking to ANI, Chouhan said, “I express my gratitude towards the PM for announcing universal vaccination for all to be carried out by the Government of India and also for extending Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana till November.”
Congress leader and Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh said the Centre’s decision to take over the vaccine procurement and distribution will help states facing problems in securing anti-Covid jabs.
“Good that Centre has decided to take over vaccine procurement & distribution for the whole country for all age groups. I had personally written to @narendramodi ji on this issue twice suggesting this as the only solution to managing #CovidVaccine crisis,” Amarinder said in a tweet.
“The move will help Punjab & other states facing problems in sourcing vaccine to ensure early vaccination of their people. It’ll also bring much-needed pricing parity – a necessity in pandemic times. I am glad PM @narendramodi has conceded our request,” he said in another tweet.