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Thursday, May 13, 2021

Delhi Confidential: Surprise move

The tone of the statement stunned the state governments, especially because both the Centre and the states were working in coordination to take up the challenges during the pandemic fight.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi |
Updated: April 10, 2021 9:58:01 am
Dr Harsh Vardhan Minister of Health and Family Welfare

Health Minister Harsh Vardhan’s statement two days ago, in which he targeted some states for claiming that there was a Covid-19 vaccine shortage, had surprised many. The tone of the statement stunned the state governments, especially because both the Centre and the states were working in coordination to take up the challenges during the pandemic fight. While Chhattisgarh Health Minister T S Singhdeo expressed his disappointment publicly, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray took it up at Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s review meeting with the chief ministers on Thursday. But the buzz in the power corridors now is that it was a statement drafted carefully by top offices in the government and the Health Minister was asked to make it public.

Strategy Meet

The Congress is set to step up its attack on the government’s Covid vaccination strategy. Party chief Sonia Gandhi will hold a virtual meeting on Saturday with Congress chief ministers and members of the group that was set up last year to assist her. This will be the first meeting of the group and chief ministers that Gandhi will be holding since campaign for the assembly elections began. The meeting comes close on the heels of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s virtual interaction with the chief ministers on the Covid surge. Indicating the party’s mood, former president Rahul Gandhi has written a letter to Prime Minister Modi demanding universal vaccination.

Still In Action

Dr R Gangakhedkar, the former head of epidemiology and communicable diseases at the ICMR, was the face the government during media briefings in the first phase of pandemic. After his retirement in July last year, the top scientist has joined the prestigious Dr C G Pandit National Chair at ICMR, assisting the research body from Pune. He might be missing in action at the media briefings but continues to advice the government on the pandemic. On Friday, he participated in the high-level Group of Ministers meeting on Covid-19.

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