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13 Oppn leaders request govt to launch free mass vaccination drive

Source: PTI   -  Edited By: Utkarsh Mishra
May 03, 2021 02:35 IST
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Leaders of 13 Opposition parties Sunday urged the Centre to launch a free mass vaccination drive across the country in view of the unprecedented surge in COVID-19 cases.


IMAGE: A medic administers a dose of COVID-19 vaccine to a man during the third phase of the inoculation drive in Lucknow, on Saturday. Photograph: Nand Kumar/PTI Photo

In a joint statement, they also called upon the Centre to ensure uninterrupted oxygen supply to all hospitals and health centres as they manage the staggering patient loads in view of the rising cases.

The signatories include Congress president Sonia Gandhi, Janata Dal-Secular leader and former prime minister H D Deve Gowda, Nationalist Congress Party leader Sharad Pawar, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray and TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee.

'In times of the uncontrollable surge of the pandemic across our country, we call upon the Central government to focus all attention in ensuring the uninterrupted flow of Oxygen supplies to all hospitals and health centres across the country,' they said in a joint statement.

'We call upon the Central government to immediately launch a free mass vaccination programme across the country,' they added.

The opposition leaders said the budgetary allocation of Rs 35,000 crore for the vaccination programme must be utilised for this drive.

Jharkhand Mukti Morcha leader and Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam chief M K Stalin, Bahujan Samaj Party supremo Mayawati, National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah, Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav and Rashtriya Janata Dal leader Tejashwi Yadav have also signed the statement, besides left leaders D Raja (Communist Party of India) and Sitaram Yechury (Communist Party of India-Marxist).

Later, Congress leader Jairam Ramesh hoped that Prime Minister Narendra Modi would consider the joint statement seriously.

'Hope the prime minister will consider this joint statement from opposition leaders seriously, and in the right spirit. Meeting them immediately would be a good first step to rebuild trust and confidence during this time of national crisis,' he wrote on Twitter.

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Source: PTI  -  Edited By: Utkarsh Mishra© Copyright 2021 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.
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