A full-blown war of words broke out between the ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Monday with both accusing each other of 'misleading' people over Covid vaccine availability in Delhi. The BJP slammed Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal for spending crores on advertisements and crying foul over shortage of Covid vaccine doses.
Addressing a virtual press conference, BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra cited a RTI reply to say that the Kejriwal government has spent around Rs 805 crore on advertisements since 2015 but not opened a single new hospital in the city.
He has been making daily appearances on the TV, "misleading" people and "lying", Patra said, attacking the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader.
"You keep advertising, claiming there will not be any lockdown, no shortage of oxygen and that people will be delivered oxygen at home.
When you saw that you cannot control the situation, then you pointed fingers at the Centre and washed your hands of your responsibility," he said.
Patra noted that Kejriwal had claimed on April 26 that his government will order 1.34 crore vaccines, which is worth nearly Rs 1,400 crore.
"Today, he's saying he has nothing. Only 8. 93 per cent people over 45 years have got their second dose in Delhi. Only 48.03 per cent people over 60 years have received their first dose.Only 17 per cent people over 60 years have received second dose," he said.
Instead of pushing the vaccination programme in time, the Delhi government was busy advertising and is now doing politics over the availability of oxygen, Patra alleged.
'Lies and deception': Manish Sisodia hits back
Responding to Sambit Patra's charge, Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia claimed that the BJP government at the Centre has allowed only 3.5 lakh doses of coronavirus vaccine for the national capital in May even though the AAP dispensation had placed orders for 1.34 crore doses with manufacturers.
The BJP is practising politics of 'lies and deception' and falsely accusing the Delhi government of ordering 5.5 lakh vaccine doses only, he charged.
Sisodia said that after the Centre decided in April that states can directly tie up with vaccine manufacturers, the Arvind Kejriwal government ordered 1.34 crore doses to vaccinate people in the 18-44 age group in the city.
"Later, the central government in a letter told us that we can have only around 3.5 lakh doses in May," he claimed showing letters of the Delhi government to vaccine manufacturers and that from Union Health Ministry to it.
Sisodia lashed out at the BJP, saying the government was selling vaccines abroad when people were dying in the country.
(With PTI inputs)