PM’s Nautanki Responsible for 2nd Wave, Death Figures False: Rahul
“I would request PM Modi to stop worrying about his image and start worrying about the problem,” Rahul Gandhi said.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Friday, 28 May while addressing the media slammed Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Centre’s vaccine strategy and held him responsible for the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic that India is facing.
Slamming PM Modi for declaring a premature victory on COVID-19, Gandhi said, “The government and the PM don't understand COVID-19. They never did.”
“The Prime Minister is responsible for the second wave. The ‘nautanki’ that he did, the way he didn’t fulfil his responsibility, is the reason we are facing the second wave,” Gandhi said.
“The Prime Minister doesn't think strategically. He is an event manager. If one group says, let’s vaccinate a particular group, he makes it an event and starts vaccinating that particular group. This is not the time for events,” he said, demanding a better strategy for the vaccination drive.
“I would request him to stop worrying about his image and start worrying about the problem in front of him,” Gandhi said.
‘People have Died Because of this Strategy’: Rahul Slams Pace of Vaccination
Gandhi said that while just 3 per cent of India’s population is fully vaccinated, countries like the US and Brazil have vaccinated more people despite not being vaccine manufacturing hubs like India.
Calling lockdowns, masking, and social distancing temporary solutions, Gandhi said that in order to stop the virus from mutating further, vaccination is the only solution.
“There are 3-4 ways to stop coronavirus. One is a permanent solution – vaccines. Lockdown is (just) another way, but it inflicts trouble on people. So lockdown social distancing, masks are temporary solutions. Vaccines are a permanent solution. If you don't hurry up with the vaccines, COVID will escape,” he said.
‘Govt’s Death Rate Figures Are False’
Slamming the Centre for allegedly lying about the death rate in the country, Gandhi said that he can guarantee the numbers given by the government is a lie and it’s exponentially false.
“The death rate is false and the government is spreading falsehoods. This is not political, it is about the future of India. The government must understand that the Opposition is not its enemy. If they had listened to us in February, this would not have happened,” he said.
Asked if the numbers are being fudged by the Congress-ruled states as well, Gandhi said: “I have personally spoken to the Congress CMs and told them that lying on death rates is only going to do more damage. Actual numbers will scare people but there’s no advantage of hiding the truth.”
Slamming events like election rallies in West Bengal and the Kumbh Mela, Gandhi said, “You are standing in Bengal addressing lakhs of people without a mask, what’s the message that’ going to people?”
Gandhi further slammed the Centre for not taking his suggestions on the pandemic since its onset and treating the Opposition like an enemy and playing a blame game with the states.
“How many Opposition leaders have you spoken to? None. We are helping. We have gone beyond politics now,” Gandhi said.
“Every time I speak, people say Rahul Gandhi is frightening the mas. I am not frightening people. I am trying to save them,” he added.
‘Rahul Gandhi Should Look at Congress-Ruled States First’: BJP
Slamming Gandhi’s comments, Union Minister Prakash Javadekar in a press briefing said that India is looking to vaccinate at least 108 crore people by December and that the former Congress chief should first take care of the Congress-ruled states.
"It is because of the government’s efforts that two vaccines began production in the country in such large quantities. The health ministry in a briefing last week has said that by December there will be 216 crore vaccine doses will be made in India and also shared a plan to vaccinate 108 crore people,” adding that the figures clearly state that India’s vaccination drive will be over by December 2021.
“The foreign countries that he mentioned, the vaccines there are still in queues to be delivered and will not reach before September-December. Over 20 crore vaccines have been administered already in India and that it is only at the second position in the world to vaccinate the most number of people in the shortest possible period,” he said.
“If Rahul ji is so concerned about vaccination, he must look at the Congress-ruled states where it’s a mess,” Javadekar said, adding that the 20 crore vaccines administered in India so far have been given by the Centre free of cost.
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