The four-day Tika Utsav to create awareness about vaccines against Covid-19 commenced on Sunday amid the BJP and the opposition trading barbs over the recent vaccine shortage reported by several states, which the Union health ministry dismissed.
Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi earlier criticised the concept of ‘vaccination festival’ and said the ongoing vaccine shortage is a serious problem and not a festive occasion. On Sunday, as the festival began, he hit out at the central government and said the government has no control over the pandemic situation.
“No control on the corona, not enough vaccines, no employment…Neither the farmers and the labourers are addressed, nor Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) safe. No middle class is satisfied…It was okay to eat mangoes, but you could have left the common man,” he wrote.
Shiv Sena leader Priyanka Chaturvedi slammed the celebration of vaccination at a time when there is an ongoing shortage of vaccines.
Watch: Tika Utsav begins in India; people reach inoculation centres to get Covid jab
As many of the Union ministers took to social media to extend support to ‘Tika Utsav’, Union minister Hardeep Singh Puri took a jibe at the Congress as he wrote, “In India’s war against Covid-19, Congress as usual has not been able to decide which side it is on.”
“They doubted India’s Covid response. They doubted India’s Covid numbers. They doubted efficacy India’s vaccines. They doubted India’s ability tp produce vaccines,” the minister wrote.
After proposing ‘Tika Utsav’ in a recent meeting with state chief ministers, PM Modi on Sunday said this festival is the beginning of the second big war against Corona.
This week has been tumultuous for vaccination, as several states, including Maharashtra, Punjab, Rajasthan and Telangana complained of vaccine shortage. Many vaccine centres remained shut in Maharashtra, while the health ministry said the vaccine stock in each state is monitored real time and is replenished regularly.