Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami on Thursday assured free immunisation against coronavirus for all sections of people in the state as soon as a vaccine is made available.
Meanwhile, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Thursday announced that the poor people in the state would be given the coronavirus vaccine free of cost.
"I would like to announce that as soon as the vaccine is developed (and made available to states) all people in Tamil Nadu will be immunised and the government shall bear the cost," Palaniswami said.
The Tamil Nadu chief minister, who is in Pudukottai on an official visit to review anti-COVID-19 measures and development projects in the district told reporters that vaccination shall cover all sections of the society.
Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam chief M K Stalin, however, hit out at Palaniswami saying, "It is the duty of a welfare state to provide life saving vaccination free of cost during the times of a pandemic."
In a Facebook post, he accused Palaniswami for 'assuming as if it was a big concession from him and for making the announcement as if this was a big feat'.
Also, the leader of opposition said the announcement was a mere 'drama' as the chief minister did not 'have a heart' to provide a financial assistance of Rs 5,000 to the people.
The Tamil Nadu government had provided an assistance of Rs 1,000 to several sections of people including ration card holders, members of various state welfare boards and the differently abled.
As regards Chennai, a string of other nearby areas in Chengelpet, Kancheepuram and Tiruvallur districts, Madurai and its suburbs a sum of Rs 2,000 was provided in two instalments as these regions experienced two spells of intensive lockdown.
Assembly elections are due in Tamil Nadu during April-May 2021.
Addressing a meet at the Collectorate here, Palaniswami said due to the sustained and intensified efforts of the government, the transmission of the virus started to decline gradually.
"In view of appropriate treatment, fatalities were reduced and those getting infected have also been cut down and recoveries increased," he said and lauded the initiatives of the frontline workers including doctors, nurses and personnel from various government departments.
In Madhya Pradesh, Chouhan's announcement comes ahead of the November 3 bypolls to 28 assembly seats in the state, the outcome of which will decide the fate of the current government.
'Since the trial of COVID-19 vaccine has started in the country, talks were on among the poor sections of the society whether they will be able to afford it. Today let me make it clear that in Madhya Pradesh it will be provided free of cost to all poor people of the state. We will win this battle,' Chouhan said in a tweet in Hindi.
Chouhan had earlier tweeted that the government would provide the vaccine free of cost to all the citizens of Madhya Pradesh. However, he later deleted the post.
A total of 1,64,341 people have tested positive in Madhya Pradesh so far, of whom 2,842 have died.
However, 1,49,353 patients have recovered from the infection, the health officials have said.