The promise of free COVID-19 vaccine for all Bihar residents, after it gets the required approval, by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in its mfesto is completely legal, said Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Friday.
Terming it a 'historical step' Union Law and Justice Minister said that no Opposition party should have any issues if the BJP is thinking progressively and giving priority to healthcare in its mfesto for the state.
"It is shocking that some are terming it a political ploy. Should promises made for improving health care, caring for people's health not be made? This declaration is completely legal, it only is problematic for people who make tall claims before elections but do not implement it on the ground," Prasad said at a press conference here.
"The promise of free vaccine for Bihar residents shows our party's commitment to people's health. In the coronavirus phase, healthcare should be a priority that is why I thank Bihar BJP, and mfesto committee. This is a revolutionary step and its purpose is clear," he added.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi had attacked BJP over the inclusion of COVID-19 vaccine in the mfesto, stating the party had announced its COVID "access strategy" and that people in every state should refer to their election schedule to know when they will get the vaccine.
The BJP released its mfesto for three-phased Bihar elections on Thursday and promised that after the approval of the coronavirus vaccine from ICMR, every person in the State will get vaccinated free of cost.
"In the fight against coronavirus, the NDA government has set an example in the country. It is our resolution that as soon as the vaccine will be approved by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), every person in the State will be vaccinated," the mfesto said.
Union Finance Minister and BJP leader Nirmala Sitharaman released the party's mfesto.
( With inputs from ANI )
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