BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari on Thursday slammed the ruling Trinamool Congress in West Bengal for depriving lakhs of the opportunity to get vaccinated against COVID-19, due to the state government''s partisan policies.
Claiming that at least nine lakh vials sent by the Centre were wasted, Mr Adhikari said Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had assured that the state will vaccinate everyone free of cost from May and even procure the jabs if needed.
"But, in a 360-degree turn, she has changed her stance and is now putting the entire blame on the central government for the tardy pace of inoculation in her state," he told health volunteers of the BJP at a meeting."
"The TMC government has procured only a few lakh vials so far and other states have done far better on this front. The ruling party wants to engage in politics over human lives, the lives of 10 crore people of West Bengal," Mr Adhikari alleged.
He said the vaccine crisis in the state has been compounded by the system of handing over tokens to people "close to the TMC" while waiting for their turn in queues.
"What will happen to the lakhs of BJP supporters? Don't they have the right to be saved from COVID-19? Don't their parents have the right to lead a healthy life?" said Mr Adhikari, who had switched over to the BJP camp from the Trinamool prior to the assembly elections.
He also asked the party's health volunteers to get the jabs at vaccination facilities run by the Centre.
Commenting on the flood-like situation in West Bengal following heavy rainfall, Mr Adhikari said the chief minister is not speaking the truth with regard to allegations of Damodar Valley Corporation discharging excess water.
"The DVC has the state's representatives, who provide information to government officials about discharge of water. This dispensation did not have any contingency plan to deal with floods that have been recurring all these years," the BJP leader told reporters later.
Responding to Mr Adhikari's remarks, TMC Rajya Sabha MP Sukhendu Sekhar Roy said BJP leaders like him are making baseless and unverifiable allegations "out of desperation" after the party's loss in the assembly polls.
"What our CM has stated (on the issues of vaccination and flood) is based on official facts and figures," he asserted.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)