Updated: May 29, 2021 3:15:34 am
Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar Friday claimed that India would complete its Covid-19 vaccination exercise by December. He was responding to Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s criticism of the government’s inoculation strategy.
The Union Minister cited recent remarks by the Health Ministry while making the claim.
“Last week, the Health Ministry has given a roadmap about producing 216 crore doses by December and how 108 crore people will be vaccinated,” Javadekar said
Hitting out at Gandhi, the minister said the kind of language the Congress leader used and the way he tried to “stoke fears” had confirmed that the purported “toolkit” was produced by his party.
The Information and Broadcasting Minister alleged that Gandhi’s choice of words like “nautanki” for the Prime Minister is part of the purported toolkit’s script.
“It has been confirmed, and there is no need for any evidence. It is clear that the toolkit was produced by you. The kind of language you used and the way you tried to stoke confusion and fear among people is part of that politics,” Javadekar said.
The BJP has claimed that a “toolkit” prepared by the Congress party had encouraged foreign media and social media influencers to defame India and Prime Minister Modi for its Covid management during the second wave. The Congress has denied the allegations and sought a police probe.
Gandhi had said that going by the current pace, the vaccination drive would only end by May 2024, by which time the country would have faced several waves of Covid-19.
Javadekar said that apart from the vaccines being produced by the domestic pharmaceutical companies, India is getting vaccines from abroad as well.
The Union Minister also added that India ranks second in the world in terms of scale of vaccination by administering over 20 crore doses, and that it is set to see a big jump from August.
The BJP leader said Gandhi should be concerned about the Congress-ruled states as they have not been able to get their quota from vaccine producers.
Attacking the Congress, Javadekar said its leaders raised questions and spread doubts about the indigenously manufactured Covaxin.
He asked Gandhi: “if you understand the importance of the vaccine today, then why did you put a question mark on it initially? Do not create confusion in the minds of people. Your gimmick did not stop even after the Prime Minister himself took the vaccine.”
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