The nation's Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced on Monday that the Government of India has decided to extend Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana till Diwali and that free ration will be provided to 80 crore poor under the scheme. Furthermore, he declared to centralized COVID-19 vaccine drive and provide free vaccine for people above 18 years from June 21.
Minutes after the announcement, Darjeeling MP Raju Bista through a press release extended his gratitude towards the PM on behalf of the people from Darjeeling hills, Terai and Dooars. He claimed that under Modi's visionary leadership the government has been able to vaccinate over 23 crore people so far; 7 companies in the country producing different types of vaccines, out of which 2 have been indigenously developed and the trial of three more vaccines is also going in the advanced stage.
"No State government of the country will have to spend anything on the vaccine. The Government of India will provide free vaccine to all the countrymen and women. Also, the provisioning of free ration which has been going for the past 2-months will now continue till November 2021, this will ensure food security for all our citizens," Bista stated.
Taking a jibe at the ruling Bengal government, Bista further wrote, "The announcement of free vaccine for all and free ration brings a sigh of relief for all citizens, especially those from West Bengal, where the state government has failed to show any seriousness towards vaccinating our people. There is a lack of a holistic plan and the state government has shown abject apathy towards the plight of the people in rural regions. The provisioning of Free Ration for all till November will help all families from our region, especially those working in Tea Gardens and Cinchona Gardens where wages are still very low and people are economically marginalized."
While the MP welcomed the announcements by the PM, he highlighted that due to difficult geographical terrain and inclement weather conditions, people in rural villages under his constituency are yet to be vaccinated. "I am most hopeful that with this initiative, 100% of our citizens will be vaccinated at the earliest," the MP added.