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Akhilesh Yadav Sparks Row, Says Won't Get Vaccinated Against Covid as ‘BJP Vaccine Not Trustworthy'

File photo of Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav (Reuters)

File photo of Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav (Reuters)

The statement came just as India is on the brink of approving its first Covid-19 vaccine, after an expert panel of the country’s drug regulator cleared the Oxford-AstraZeneca shot.

Qazi Faraz Ahmad

Former Uttar Pradesh chief minister and Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav on Saturday courted controversy with his statement that he won’t accept a vaccine against Covid-19 as he doesn’t trust the vaccine that will be given out by the BJP government.

“I will not get vaccinated by the shot given by the BJP government as I don't trust them. When we (SP) will come to power, we will ensure free vaccine to everyone," he told mediapersons.

The statement came just as India is on the brink of approving its first Covid-19 vaccine, after an expert panel of the country’s drug regulator cleared the Oxford-AstraZeneca shot for rollout. The panel’s recommendation has now been sent to the Drug Controller General of India, whose approval is the final step.

Ahead of the rollout, all states are also conducting a dry run on Saturday to prepare for and to iron out any kinks in the delivery and distribution system.

The SP chief, however, alleged that the BJP government at the Centre only gets concerned about coronavirus, when the opposition parties do something.

"Money is being extorted by people in the name of coronavirus. This government is concerned about corona only when opposition parties do something. The same BJP government wanted to get rid of corona by clapping and banging of plates,” he said, adding that the government has also failed to ensure that people wear masks to curb the spread of the virus.

Yadav’s statement against the vaccine invited the scorn of UP’s deputy chief minister Keshav Prasad Maurya, who demanded an apology for questioning the scientific community’s hardwork in producing the vaccine in a record time.

"Akhilesh Yadav doesn't trust the vaccine and the people of Uttar Pradesh don’t trust Akhilesh Yadav. The questions raised on vaccine is an insult to doctors and scientists of our country. Akhilesh should apologize for this," he said.


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