In a meeting between the Prime Minister and the Chief Ministers on Monday, the Chief Minister of Puducherry V Narayanaswamy Demanded that MPs and MLAs must be given Covid-19 vaccine on a priority basis as they too are, in the frontline in tackling the virus and they also have to interact with others in their constituencies. The Prime Minister, however, rejected this demand saying that it will send a “very bad signal” to the people refusing to entertain such a privilege for the elected representatives. PM Narendra Modi said, “All these demands will send a very bad message. It will look like the government is not worried about the common people but is busy trying to cater to lawmakers.”
The demand for the vaccination of lawmakers as in the next few weeks both the parliament, as well as State Assemblies, are set to hold their budget sessions. Meanwhile, West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee raised an issue about the cost-burden of the vaccines to which the PM replied that the cost of vaccination of 30 million healthcare and frontline workers will be borne by the Central Government.
The PM and the CMs are expected to meet again towards the end of this month or early February to discuss the procedure and cost-sharing issues for the vaccines for the remaining 270 million people in the priority list. “There will be another meeting to discuss the expenses required to inoculate senior citizens and those who have comorbidities,” a senior official told.