Covid vaccines that were supposed to be supplied to state governments are being diverted to private hospitals so that BJP MLAs can “fill their pockets with huge commission”, the Aam Aadmi Party alleged on Sunday. However, the BJP’s Delhi unit said AAP leaders, it seems, “are campaigning for highly priced foreign-made vaccines’ manufacturers” and every time say recorded statements on vaccine shortage when Bharat Biotech and the Serum Institute of India have assured normal supply in the next 10-15 days.
Addressing a press conference, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) spokesperson and MLA Atishi said that the BJP is earning “heavy commission” through private hospitals and a proof of this has emerged from Karnataka. It involves BJP MP Tejasvi Surya and Ravi Subramanya, she said.
The Congress on Saturday had accused Surya and his uncle Ravi Subramanya, an MLA in Karnataka, of making money through vaccines and demanded that an FIR be registered against them and they be removed as MP and MLA, respectively. The BJP leaders have, however, denied the charge.
Congress spokesperson Pawan Khera alleged that according to an audio tape leaked through social media, Subramanya purportedly took a bribe of Rs 700 per vaccine at a private hospital in Karnataka. Surya has been seen promoting the hospital in advertisements, he alleged.
AAP’s Atishi alleged that according to call records, the private hospital clearly stated that they are administering vaccines at expensive rates because they have to “feed” the MLA’s office with huge commission. “The call records also reveal that in order to get vaccine, people are being forced to get themselves registered at the MLA office just so that BJP politicians can earn their commission and fill their pockets,” she said.
Atishi claimed that the BJP is indulging in a “vaccine scam” in these testing times at the cost of the lives of people. “Vaccines which were supposed to be supplied to state governments are being diverted to private hospitals just so that BJP MLAs can fill their pockets with huge commissions,” she claimed.
“The state government which is immunising people for free is not getting any vaccines but private hospitals and private hotels are getting huge supply. What kind of a connivance is this of the Centre,” Atishi asked. Delhi BJP spokesperson Praveen Shankar Kapoor said no doubt that there is a slight slow inflow of Covid vaccines but both Bharat Biotech and Serum Institute of Indian have assured that supply will be normal in the next 10 to 15 days.
“Despite this reassurance by manufacturers one fails to understand that why every day AAP leaders like Atishi play their recorded statement on vaccine shortage and need for allowing import of foreign-made vaccines. It seems they are campaigning for highly priced foreign-made vaccines’ manufacturers,” he said. “AAP leaders say that they want free vaccines but they campaign for import of highly-priced foreign vaccines which no government can provide for free,” Kapoor said.
The Delhi BJP spokesperson said at press conferences, AAP leaders pretend to be against costly vaccines at highly-priced vaccination centres like malls, hotels and private hospitals. But every other day “we find Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and his other ministers inaugurating such highly-priced vaccination Centres, Kapoor said. “People want Atishi to answer if the AAP leadership is against costly vaccines, then why is the chief minister inaugurating such private centres,” he said.