Mamata fires fresh salvo at Centre over vax policy
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday took a jibe at the Centre over the suspended supply of vaccine doses to the state, alleging that when other states are getting more vials, Bengal is being overlooked though the state has performed exceptionally in implementing the vaccine scheme.
Speaking to the media, Banerjee said, "We have administered 2.17 crore vaccine doses so far of which 18 lakh vials worth Rs 59 crore have been procured by the state government directly from the manufacturers. We have received 1.99 crore doses from the Centre of which 1.90 core have been administered. We are the best state as far as implementation, utilisation and execution of the vaccine drive is concerned."
Criticising the Centre for 'not providing' enough vaccine doses to the state, the Chief Minister said, "We have no vaccines for which we are only administering the second dose now. Uttar Pradesh has received 3.15 crore doses, Maharashtra has got 3.17 crore doses, but we have been left out. Even the smaller states like Gujarat and Rajasthan are getting more doses, but a large state like West Bengal is being deprived."
Banerjee's criticism came after the Centre wrote to the state on a fake vaccination camp that surfaced in Bengal recently.
Speaking on the issue, Banerjee said, "I have said that it (fake vaccination camp) is more dangerous than a terrorist attack, but one should understand that it is an isolated case and the government is nowhere involved in it. An SIT has been formed to probe the matter and I have asked it not to spare anyone -- whoever they might be."
Alleging that the BJP and the Centre are taking chances to malign the state, Banerjee said, "I have gathered information. It is not a Covid injection -- it is an antibiotic. The health department is in touch with the people who have taken the fake doses and the government will vaccinate them again. We will also take care of them if they develop any health-related problem. Can anyone assure me that the BJP is not behind this? The probe is going on, and everything will come to the fore."
Meanwhile, the acting Chief Justice of Calcutta High Court, Rajesh Bindal, has snubbed the Kolkata Police for their failure to identify the person who posed as an IAS officer and moved in a VIP vehicle just under the nose of the police.
Hearing two of the three PILs filed in the fake vaccination racket in Bengal, Bindal questioned the state government asa to how Debanjan Deb was roaming around with the police.
The court raised questions on how an imposter could mingle freely with the seniors of the ruling party.
"Leaders should know who the joint commissioner is, as it is a senior rank," the court said, asking why there was no verification.
The Calcutta High Court has asked the Bengal government about the steps taken in the case of Debanjan Deb, the mastermind behind the fake vaccination camp in Bengal. The responses will have to be filed in the court by July 2.
Debanjan Deb, 28, was arrested by the Kolkata Police last week for allegedly posing as an IAS officer and organising a vaccination drive in the Kasba area, where actor and Trinamool Congress MP Mimi Chakraborty had also got her Covid vaccine jab.
On June 25, the police arrested three more people in connection with the scam, who have been identified as Sushanta Das, Rabin Sikdar and Santanu Manna.
Das and Sikdar were arrested as they were the signatory authority of the fake Kolkata Municipal Corporation bank account which Debanjan Deb used to dupe people, while Manna was an associate of Deb.-IANS