New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: Amid the ongoing tussle between the Centre and opposition-ruled states over shortage of coronavirus vaccine, former Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Friday wrote a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, asking him to open the vaccination drive for "everyone who needs it" and halt vaccine exports immediately.

In his letter, the former Congress president also urged the central government to "fast-track other vaccines". He also slammed the central government for its "poor implementation and oversight" to control the spread of the novel coronavirus in India.

Gandhi's letter comes a day after PM Modi held a crucial meet with chief ministers of all states and asked them to observe a 'Tika Utsav' (vaccination festival) from April 11 to April 14. During his meeting, PM Modi also said that India's focus should be on micro-containment zones and "Corona Curfew" (night curfew) to control the pandemic.

India has been witnessing a rise in coronavirus cases since mid-February. On Friday, the country reported more than 1.31 lakh coronavirus cases, the biggest single-day spike since the outbreak of the pandemic. The consistent spike in cases has forced several states -- including Maharashtra, Delhi, Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh -- to impose weekend lockdowns and night curfews to control the spread of the infection.

Several states, mainly ruled by opposition parties, have also claimed of vaccine shortage and warned that they will be forced to close several inoculation centres if the Health Ministry fails to fulfil their demand for more vaccines.

However, the central government has accused some states of doing politics over vaccines. The central government has also dismissed as "farce" the "hue and cry" by certain states about partisanship by its and called it an attempt to hide their own incompetence.

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma