New Delhi, Jun 22 (PTI) The BJP and the AAP Tuesday engaged in a war of words over the availability of Covid vaccines in the national capital, with Union minister Hardeep Singh Puri slamming Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal for visiting Punjab 'instead of focusing on health & welfare of people of Delhi'. Senior AAP leader and Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia hit out at Puri, asking him to provide enough vaccine doses to Delhi rather than 'abusing' Kejriwal.
The Kejriwal government has been complaining of inadequate supply of vaccines for some time, all the while claiming it could administer vaccines to all Delhiites within three months if the Centre provides enough doses.
The Centre Monday rolled out free vaccination for the eligible category of people with a record 86 lakh-plus beneficiaries getting inoculated on the inaugural day of the drive.
Kejriwal was in poll-bound Punjab on the day where a prominent Sikh personality joined his Aam Aadmi Party.
'On a day India vaccinated more than 84 lakh people, Delhi administered only 76,259 out of more than 11 lakh doses available. Why? Instead of focusing on health & welfare of people of Delhi, Kejriwal Ji is busy in Punjab searching for a Sikh CM face for his party,' Puri tweeted, attacking the AAP national convener.
Responding to him, Sisodia tweeted, 'Hardeep ji: pls focus on providing enough vaccines for the youth, rather than just abusing Arvind Kejriwal all the time. Central Govt’s vaccination flip-flops have created a crisis situation all over country.' Sisodia also addressed a press conference where he claimed no vaccine doses were to be provided to Delhi in the current month after June 21.
Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan joined the war of words, accusing Sisodia of lying.
Citing a Ramcharit Manas verse, Vardhan tweeted, 'Some people accept only lies, offer lies to others and feed and chew lies only. This Ramcharit Manas chaupai fits Arvind Kejriwal and his ministers.' According to the Delhi government's daily bulletin, a total of 76,062 people received their vaccine doses on Monday.
It also showed that as on June 22 morning, Delhi has a stock of 2.14 lakh doses for the 18-44 age group. A total of 14,34,730 doses have been provided to Delhi for 18-44 years age group so far, it showed.
AAP MLA Atishi, who presents the daily vaccination bulletin of Kejriwal government, asked Puri to pay attention to the country's vaccination policy that she alleged proved to be a 'failure' in different phases.
'In the first phase when all countries in the world were busy procuring vaccines, BJP leaders were busy fighting elections in five states and no plan of vaccine procurement was made,' she charged.
Delhi BJP leaders in a press conference demanded an audit of the Kejriwal government's vaccine usage.
'Despite having an adequate stock of over 11 lakh vaccines in Delhi why only 76,000 doses were administered yesterday. It raises a big question mark on intentions of the Kejriwal government,' Delhi BJP president Adesh Gupta said.
Party MLA and Leader of Opposition in Delhi Assembly Ramvir Singh Bidhuri said that work of vaccination should be handed over to BJP-ruled municipal corporations in the city. PTI VIT GVS UZM TIR TIR