In a swipe at the government, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said on Friday that July has come but vaccines have not, drawing a sharp retort from the BJP which cited figures to ask if spreading “confusion” is the Opposition party’s undeclared policy.
“July has come, vaccines have not. Where are vaccines,” Mr. Gandhi tweeted. Hitting back, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan noted that he had on Thursday put out facts on vaccine availability for this month, and said there is no vaccine for the virus of ignorance.
“Just yesterday, I put out facts on vaccine availability for the month of July. What is @RahulGandhi Ji’s problem ?Does he not read ? Does he not understand ? There is no vaccine for the virus of arrogance and ignorance !! @INCIndia must think of a leadership overhaul,!” the senior BJP leader tweeted.
The BJP also held a press conference to hit out at Mr. Gandhi and claimed that people often ask why maturity, wisdom and responsibility have not come to the Congress leader despite the passage of 51 Julys, a reference to his age.
At the press conference, BJP spokesperson Gaurav Bhatia said 41.60 lakh Covid vaccine doses were administered on July 1 while a total of 6.85 crore jabs have been given between June 21 and July 1 with an average daily dose of over 62 lakh. These statistics tell a different story and show that the government has been working at a “war footing” to give vaccines to people, he said, adding that the pace of vaccination will gather more speed in the coming days. Is there any country with a better average in the last 11 days, he asked, adding that India by administering over 34 crore doses has surpassed countries like the U.S., Canada and other. The Central government has begin providing free vaccines to all adults since June 21.
“While the government under Prime Minister Narendra Modi is giving citizens safety shield in form of vaccines, the Congress and some other Opposition parties do not want India to defeat Covid,” Mr. Bhatia claimed. The government is committed to administering jabs to all adults by this year end, he reiterated. “You may hate Modi but why hate people… Is spreading confusion the undeclared policy of the Congress,” he said, attacking Mr. Gandhi. Mr. Bhatia also hit out at the alleged corruption and irregularities in Covid management in the Congress-ruled States and questioned Congress president Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi about it. He cited media reports to accuse the Congress government in Rajasthan of buying oxygen concentrators at an exorbitant rate and alleged that many of them were defunct. He claimed that even Congress leaders in Maharashtra have alleged corruption by the coalition government in the State. Answering a question related to Uttar Pradesh, Mr. Bhatia lauded the Yogi Adityanath-led government in the State and expressed confidence that the BJP will win the Assembly polls in the State next year with even a bigger margin than 2017.