NEW DELHI – Amid an ongoing war of words between the Centre and states over vaccine allocation, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin says greater transparency in Covid-19 inoculation drive can’t be achieved if the Union government keeps on telling states not to “even mention the term vaccine shortage”.
“The union government is saying to not even mention the term vaccine shortage. With this you can understand, nothing more needs to be said,” Stalin said when India Ahead asked him about improving coordination between Central and the Tamil Nadu government.
“If they give us properly what we have demanded (in terms of vaccines) then transparency will definitely come,” Stalin said in an interview.
Stalin on his maiden trip to New Delhi, after assuming office in April, met Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday and communicated a list of demands including support for additional supply of vaccine for the state.
State Health Minister M Subramanian had warned earlier this month that Tamil Nadu might have to halt the vaccination drive if the depleting vaccine stocks were not replenished at the earliest.
Many other state governments have raised concerns over the shortage of vaccines ahead of the Phase-3 inoculation drive for age groups between 18 to 44 years.
The Centre had stepped in after most pharma manufacturers refused to directly deal with state governments for vaccine procurement.
Other key demands made to the central government by the Chief Minister include fast-tracking of AIIMS in Madurai and scrapping of the medical entrance test NEET.
“I’ve written to @PMOIndia urging him to cancel the conduct of NEET and all other national level entrance exams, keeping in mind the safety of the students, as the reasons for cancelling the class XII board exams are equally applicable to entrance exams as well,” Stalin had tweeted earlier.
DMK has also raised questions over the new education policy announced by the NDA government. The ruling party in Tamil Nadu has been opposing the three-language policy being advocated in the NEP.