Aizawl, June 1: Mizoram Chief Minister Zoramthanga has urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to provide free Covid vaccines to the 11 Special Category states which have poor resources.
In his posts on different social media platforms on Tuesday, Zoramthanga said that he has written to the Prime Minister on Monday requesting his intervention for the government to buy the entire vaccine requirements and make equitable distributions to all the Special Category states. "I also requested to all the Chief Ministers of the northeastern states to take a similar line of action, so as to present a united front to the government of India," said the Chief Minister, who is also the President of the ruling Mizo National Front (MNF).
The MNF is a constituent of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) and anti-Congress alliance of regional parties - North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA). The Mizoram CM said that while most parts of India appear to have reached a stage where the new cases of Covid-19 are declining, northeast India is still witnessing an increasing trend of new cases. He said that the pandemic puts serious stress on the resources of the country and this has far more severe impacts on small states with small resource bases like Mizoram. "On top of this, we are now required to buy the vaccines for 18-44 years age group, which puts more stress on our meagre resources. I also requested that the special category states like Mizoram are provided with vaccines free of charge by the government of India," Zoramthanga said.
According to NITI Aayog, the eight northeastern states, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir and Uttarakhand were earlier granted special category status. Special category status for plan assistance was granted in the past by the National Development Council to the states that are characterised by a number of features necessitating special consideration from the centre.