In a press conference on Saturday, Yadav had created a nationwide stir by saying that he will “not get vaccinated” as he “does not trust BJP’s vaccine”. He had also said that when the Samajwadi Party comes to power, everybody will get free vaccine. Yadav’s words coming at a time when the nation is finally seeing a breakthrough in terms of the Covid-19 vaccine not only invited criticism from BJP leaders like union minister of state , finance, Anurag Thakur and UP deputy CM Keshav Prasad Maurya, but also from other prominent opposition party leaders like Omar Abdullah of the National Conference party as well as other experts.
Yadav had also said that the pandemic is being used by the government to silence the opposition so that they do not hold any programs (Yadav was last month detained for staging a protest in support of farmers).
On Sunday, Yadav said he will not get BJP’s “political vaccine”.
“Corona vaccination is a sensitive process and so the BJP should not treat it like a pomp and show event and only start the drive after making proper arrangements in advance. This is about people’s lives and thus one cannot risk making amends later. The date for vaccination of the poor should be announced,” Yadav said.
A senior SP leader told ET that while Yadav’s statement on Saturday could have been done without, he had really meant to question the “hasty clearance” of the vaccine. He said the party’s “political position” is that the BJP should answer when it will give free vaccines to the poor and how it will manage those who get reactions from the vaccine.
“Today they are attacking him for unscientific temper, but where did the unscientific temper issue go when the government had asked to bang plates and claps…also, what is the rationale behind announcing the vaccination drive around Makar Sankranti? How is that a scientific temper?,” the leader said referring to the UP CM Yogi Adityanath’s announcement on Saturday that the vaccine will be available in the state around the festival.
Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati, on the other hand welcomed the “Swadeshi” vaccine while requesting the centre to also consider giving free vaccine to the poorest of the poor along with making it available for health workers.