Sonia Gandhi asks Maharashtra Minister to ensure speedy vaccination in State

She was satisfied that Maha Vikas Aghadi government is transparently handling COVID situation: Thorat

Even as the tripartite Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government double thinks on free vaccination in Maharashtra, Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Tuesday directed senior party leader and State Revenue Minister Balasaheb Thorat to ensure speedy completion of vaccination in the State.

Mr. Thorat has already said the party’s stand was to ensure free vaccination in the State.

Ms. Gandhi had spoken to Mr. Thorat to take stock of the situation in Maharashtra, which is one of the worst affected States due to COVID-19.

“She was satisfied that the Maha Vikas Aghadi government in Maharashtra is transparently handling the COVID situation. She took information about the measures taken and expressed satisfaction about the efforts of the State government,” said Mr. Thorat.

Two days after Nationalist Congress Party leader and Minority Affairs Minister Nawab Malik said the government would provide free vaccination to those in the age-group of 18 to 45, the government seems to be rethinking on this strategy. According to sources, many in the government believe that blanket free vaccination announcement should not be made and instead those who can afford should be asked to pay for it.

According to sources within the Finance department, a thought has also been given on asking corporate companies and even cash-rich government bodies such as CIDCO, MMRDA, BMC to ask to bare the cost of the vaccinations of their employees and their families. A final announcement will be made by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray after the Cabinet meeting.

Shiv Sena MP Rahul Shewale has written to the Chief Minister asking him to use fixed deposits of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) worth ₹75,000 crore for the free vaccination in the State.

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