The Bharatiya Janata Party's erstwhile ally Shiv Sena has slammed the free Covid vaccine promise made by the party in its manifesto for the Bihar Assembly elections. Sena spokesperson and Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Raut said that the BJP's promise shows the discriminatory nature of the saffron party.
"Earlier it used to be - "tum mujhe khoon do, main tumhe azadi dunga" (You give me blood, I will give you freedom) and now it's - "tum mujhe vote do, hum tumhe vaccine denge" (Give us vote, we will give you vaccine). Only those who vote for BJP will get the vaccine, it shows BJP's discriminatory nature," news agency ANI quoted Raut as saying.
"This kind of statement is bringing disgrace to Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Are preparations underway to divide the country? First, they used to divide people in the name of caste and religion, and now the same is going on in the name of the vaccine," he added.
The BJP on Thursday released its manifesto for Bihar elections wherein it promised free coronavirus vaccine to all. “As and when the vaccine candidates that are currently under various levels of trials in the country get scientific clearances and a go-ahead for production, the people of Bihar will get vaccination for free once the production in India is on a large scale. This is our first poll promise as mentioned in the manifesto,” Union minister Nirmala Sitharaman told reporters in Patna.
The BJP is contesting elections in an alliance with Nitish Kumar's Janata Dal (United). The two parties have been ruling the state since 2005, barring a period of 2013-17.
The state is slates to go to polls in three-phase from October 28 to November 9. The results will be declared on November 10.