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Vishwanath: Not right to include vaccine issue in manifesto

A.H. Vishwanath, BJP MLC, has taken exception to the BJP manifesto for the Bihar Assembly election promising free vaccination for COVID-19.

Joining the chorus questioning the election promise, Mr. Vishwanath wondered whether the logical extension of the poll promise means people would be allowed to die if the party does not win. “If you don’t win, will you let the people die?” he wondered aloud while speaking to reporters here on Friday.

He criticised the inclusion of the promise to give free vaccination in the BJP’s poll agenda. “No, this (issue of providing vaccination) should not enter the manifesto of any political party or become part of the party’s agenda in the elections,” said Mr. Vishwanath, who was among the 17 MLAs who quit the erstwhile JD(S)–Congress coalition and helped the BJP form the government in the State.

Mr. Vishwanath was also critical of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami for making a similar promise of providing free vaccination to all the people of the State, which is expected to go to polls next year.

Mr. Vishwanath also decried the language used by the former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah against BJP leader Nalin Kumar Kateel. He sought to remind Mr. Siddaramaiah that he had enjoyed power by becoming the Chief Minister and was presently the Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Assembly. “Don’t behave like a court jester. Conduct yourself as a political statesman,” he advised.

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