Cong forgot I began India’s Pulse Polio drive: Harsh Vardhan

I am saddened by the partisan attitude of the Manmohan Singh government, said Harsh Vardhan.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi | Published:February 12, 2014 1:54 am
President Pranab Mukherjee, PM Manmohan Singh and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi at a function to celebrate polio eradication on Tuesday. (PTI) President Pranab Mukherjee, PM Manmohan Singh and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi at a function to celebrate polio eradication on Tuesday. (PTI)

The BJP has hit out  at the Congress government in the Centre for failing to mention its leader Harsh Vardhan’s contributions while celebrating the country’s polio-free status.

In a statement, Leader of Opposition in Delhi Assembly Harsh Vardhan said, “Government of India organised a mega event at Talkatora Stadium on Tuesday to celebrate India attaining “polio free” status. But it failed to recall the man who began it all — Dr Harsh Vardhan.”

Vardhan claimed that on Gandhi Jayanti in 1994, he as the health minister of Delhi had organised an immunisation drive for nearly 1.2 million children in the capital on a single day and started the Pulse Polio movement in the country.

“The next year, thanks to the then President Shankar Dayal Sharma and A R Antulay, the then Union Health Minister, we successfully roped in all state governments to organise Pulse Polio drives,” Harsh Vardhan said.

Though aggrieved at the Centre for ignoring his contribution to rid the country of polio, Vardhan said, “I don’t want to take personal credit for Pulse Polio, because I believe that visualising it was the easiest part. A programme of such a gigantic dimension — in an age before mobile telephony and internet — would hardly have been possible without the tireless effort of lakhs of doctors, paramedics, government officials, volunteers and other workers.”

“Today, I am saddened by the partisan attitude of the Manmohan Singh government. It did not even invite me to the event. The government insulted not just me, but also the bipartisan spirit which made polio eradication possible. People of all political backgrounds joined hands to make India polio-free and this government has reduced it to a party event,” he said.

However, Vardhan did point out that he did not require the Singh government’s acknowledgement for his role in Pulse Polio.

“I have been given awards by the World Health Organization, the Rotary Foundation, Lions International, Indian Medical Association and dozens of other national and international oganisations. I was twice given Rotary International’s Paul Harris Fellowship and the ‘Polio Eradication Champion Award’ which had earlier been given to former US President Bill Clinton, former British Prime Minister John Major and former United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan. Apart from these, I was bestowed scores of other international and national awards. Even former Prime Minister I K Gujral had rated me as one of the best health ministers of India and former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee had called me ‘Swasthya Vardhan’,” he said.

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  1. I
    Indus
    Feb 12, 2014 at 2:33 am
    For Congress all good things come from one single family. They trumpet it like anything.To grab somebody's achievements is really cheap
    Reply
    1. S
      Swaminathan
      Feb 12, 2014 at 5:04 am
      Really a wonderful movement......to eradicate India of Polio
      Reply
      1. S
        sb
        Feb 12, 2014 at 8:07 am
        Sheer Plagiarism !! Claim credits without acknowledging the most important person Dr Harsh Vardhan who was behind the pulse-polio campaign.
        Reply
        1. S
          sb
          Feb 12, 2014 at 8:07 am
          Sheer Plagiarism !! Claim credits without acknowledging the most important person Dr Harsh Vardhan who was behind the pulse-polio campaign.
          Reply
          1. R
            Raveendra Reddy
            Feb 12, 2014 at 9:21 am
            This is not surprise, when Rahul hi tried his best take credit for Lokpal bill, when congress party is responsible for not thinking about that for decades. Gr roots, NGOs like Rotary, etc need to be credited more for polio eradication, who worked hard in difficult situations with meager ries.
            Reply
            1. R
              Raveendra Reddy
              Feb 12, 2014 at 9:21 am
              This is not surprise, when Rahul hi tried his best take credit for Lokpal bill, when congress party is responsible for not thinking about that for decades. Gr roots, NGOs like Rotary, etc need to be credited more for polio eradication, who worked hard in difficult situations with meager ries.
              Reply
              1. K
                Kavin Rao
                Feb 12, 2014 at 4:55 am
                Looks like Congress Party has started clutching at Straws...claiming credit for someone ellses achievement! Shame, shame!
                Reply
                1. K
                  Kavin Rao
                  Feb 12, 2014 at 4:55 am
                  Looks like Congress Party has started clutching at Straws...claiming credit for someone ellses achievement! Shame, shame!
                  Reply
                  1. M
                    MALADI
                    Feb 12, 2014 at 5:08 am
                    why congi dirt is wasting money in such events...
                    Reply
                    1. M
                      MALADI
                      Feb 12, 2014 at 5:08 am
                      why congi dirt is wasting money in such events...
                      Reply
                      1. P
                        P.S.Arunachalam Arunachalam
                        Feb 12, 2014 at 1:21 pm
                        We owe our mundane existence to one and only one family in India.
                        Reply
                        1. S
                          Shib
                          Feb 12, 2014 at 5:47 am
                          Mr BJP man, as usual you landed up in the opposition again ! Thats what you guys have been doing best... lip service !
                          Reply
                          1. R
                            Raj
                            Feb 12, 2014 at 8:53 am
                            Why such a long public statement by Harsh Vardhan citing all his achievements and awards including previous recipients of the awards to say he doesn't care if his contribution was acknowledged or not? Sounds crazy.
                            Reply
                            1. R
                              Raj
                              Feb 12, 2014 at 8:53 am
                              Why such a long public statement by Harsh Vardhan citing all his achievements and awards including previous recipients of the awards to say he doesn't care if his contribution was acknowledged or not? Sounds crazy.
                              Reply
                              1. V
                                Vikas
                                Feb 12, 2014 at 7:54 am
                                congress is always baised, if you say latest 'Bharat nirman ads' you can see they claim that all developments like ATM, flyover, highways built in last 10 years, for NDA government did not do anything. Also about nuclear power, they didnot mention Shri Vajpayi in the list, I do not like when, they do not give credit to other people.
                                Reply
                                1. V
                                  Vikas
                                  Feb 12, 2014 at 7:54 am
                                  congress is always baised, if you say latest 'Bharat nirman ads' you can see they claim that all developments like ATM, flyover, highways built in last 10 years, for NDA government did not do anything. Also about nuclear power, they didnot mention Shri Vajpayi in the list, I do not like when, they do not give credit to other people.
                                  Reply
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