Taking a swipe at the BJP’s election manifesto for poll-bound Bihar that includes free Covid-19 vaccine to all of Bihar, Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut said that earlier it used to be ‘give me blood and I will give you freedom’. “But now it has become ‘give me vote and I will give you vaccine’. Only those who vote for BJP will get vaccine. It shows BJP’s discriminatory nature,” the leader said on Friday, alluding to Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose’s iconic speech that he made in Burma in 1944.
Shiv Sen is contesting in around 50 seats in Bihar, as announced by the party earlier.
The promise of a vaccine — that is undergoing trial — at free of cost during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic drew sharp reactions from all political corners.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi slammed the party and tweeted, “GOI just announced India’s Covid access strategy. Kindly refer to the state-wise election schedule to know when will you get it, along with a hoard of false promises.”
Soon after the BJP announced free vaccine for Bihar, Tamil Nadu and Madhya Pradesh too walked the same path and promised free vaccines.
While questions are being raised whether the vaccine promise violates Model Code of Conduct, people familiar with the matter told Hindustan Times that the promise may not be seen as a violation. “Under section 123 (2) of the Representation of People’s Act, 1951, a declaration of public policy, or a promise of publication, or the mere exercise of a legal right without intent to interfere with an electoral right, shall not be deemed to be interference within the meaning of this clause,” they said.