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Tuesday, August 03, 2021

July has come, vaccines haven’t, says Rahul Gandhi; faces backlash from Union ministers

While Piyush Goyal asked him to not play "petty politics", Dr Harsh Vardhan accused him of "making irresponsible statements".

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
July 2, 2021 11:37:14 am
(From left) Rahul Gandhi, Dr Harsh Vardhan and Piyush Goyal have been in a war of words over vaccine availability. (File Photos)

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Friday found himself on the receiving end as Union Ministers Piyush Goyal and Dr Harsh Vardhan slammed him for questioning the Centre over lack of vaccine doses.

Rahul Gandhi, in a tweet in Hindi, said that July has come but vaccines haven’t to which Goyal said that “petty politics is not right in the fight against Covid”. “12 crore vaccine doses will be available in July — separate from supply to private hospitals. States have been informed about the supply 15 days back. Rahul Gandhi should understand that petty politics, instead of seriousness, is not right in the fight against Covid,” Goyal responded to Gandhi’s tweet.

Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan, too, accused Gandhi of “making irresponsible statements” and sidestepped any further discussion on vaccination by accusing him of “arrogance”.

“Just yesterday, I put out facts on vaccine availability for the month of July. What is Rahul Gandhiji’s problem? Does he not read? Does he not understand? There is no vaccine for the virus of arrogance and ignorance!! Congress must think of a leadership overhaul!” Dr Vardhan said.

“I’m seeing irresponsible statements from various leaders. Stating facts so people can judge intentions of these leaders: After GoI provided 75% of vaccines available for free, vaccination speed picked up and 11.50 crore doses were given in June,” he added.

On Thursday Dr Vardhan said 12 crore doses would be sent to states in July. The 12 crore doses for July, according to an affidavit filed with the Supreme Court, will consist of 10 crore Covishield doses and two crore Covaxin doses.

Supply of vaccine doses continues to be a bone of contention between states and the centre, with some states still closing vaccination centres due to the lack of doses. Last week, Bengal said it would vaccinate only priority groups, and similar concerns were raised by Bihar and Uttar Pradesh as well.

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