BJP President JP Nadda in a scathing letter to Congress party president Sonia Gandhi on Tuesday lambasted the opposition including some Congress Chief Ministers for deliberately creating commotion when the nation is dealing with a pandemic, for petty political gains.
The party president directly attacked the opposition for creating vaccine hesitancy and mismanaging funds and Covid-19 relief material allocated using the PM Cares Fund. He said in his letter that “the top echelons of the Congress would stop misleading people, creating false panic and even contradicting their stands just based on political considerations.”
Expressing his displeasure over the conduct of some Congress leaders and Chief Ministers, JP Nadda in his letter called out the party leaders who “left no opportunity to mock” the efforts being taken by the scientists, doctors and innovators to develop a Covid-19 vaccine.
As the opposition relentlessly championed making vaccines free for all, Nadda questioned the party’s intent saying when the BJP-NDA led states could announce free vaccines for the poor, what stopped the Congress. The letter also highlighted the hypocrisy of former Congress President Rahul Gandhi for demanding a lockdown after successfully completing his rallies in the poll-bound states down South.
Here’s what the letter said
The full text of Nadda’s letter is reproduced here:
“Powered by our Corona warriors, India is currently waging a spirited fight against the COVID-19 global pandemic. Our nation is conducting the largest vaccination drive in the world. India’s vaccination strategy has been guided by global best practices. We began early in January and ensured that our COVID warriors get their shots first. This has helped us greatly in fighting the second wave. I am sure you would also know that many Western nations have not even begun vaccinating their younger population, unlike what is happening in India.
Ever since the pandemic struck in 2020, Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has been working closely with all arms of the Government to add more momentum to the fight against the pandemic. Priority areas are augmenting medical capacities and ensuring adequate facilities to those suffering. Efforts are under way to ensure all parts are equipped with adequate medicine and other materials required to combat COVID. In 2020, for 8 long months, the Government of India provided free ration to the 80 crore Indians. The same is being done even now.
The Prime Minister is working closely with all Chief Ministers in this effort to defeat Coronavirus. He has chaired several meetings with Chief Ministers, which have been held in a cordial and congenial atmosphere. Former Prime Minister and farmer leader Shri HD Deve Gowda himself referred to the Prime Minister’s emphasis on consulting a wide range of stakeholders.
It is in this context that I am saddened but not surprised by the conduct of the Congress Party during these challenging times. While there are certainly a few members of your party who (like several other selfless citizens) are doing commendable work in helping people, their hardwork gets eclipsed by the consistent negativity spread by the more senior members of the party.
I am writing this letter with a deep sense of pain. I would never have written such a letter. But, looking at the confusion being created by members of the Congress Party, including Chief Ministers belonging to the party, I am compelled to pen my thoughts. One would wish that while India is fighting COVID-19 with utmost courage, the top echelons of the Congress would stop misleading people, creating false panic and even contradicting their stands just based on political considerations.
Let me begin with the vaccine. Throughout last year, when our scientists, doctors and innovators were racing against time to find a vaccine, your party leaders left no opportunity to mock these efforts. A vaccine that is made in India should be a matter of national pride. Instead, Congress leaders tried to ridicule it and create doubts in the minds of people. Even a Chief Minister belonging to your party indulged in such antics. In a nation that has almost no recent history of vaccine hesitancy, your party has the dubious record of trying to actively create it, that too, in the middle of a once-in-a-century pandemic.
I would also like to address the debates around access to vaccines. States which have BJP or NDA government have announced their resolve to help the poor and underprivileged by providing vaccines for free. I am sure that Congress Governments in various states also feel strongly for the poor. Can they also come out with a similar decision to provide vaccines for free?
The COVID-19 vaccine made in India does not belong to any political party or leader- it belongs to the nation. Yet, the Congress Party could did not do the right thing instead only did the wrong politics.
May I also address the topic of providing supportive medical infrastructure to fight COVID-19. When the pandemic struck, the Government of India discussed the need for ventilators with all states. So far around 45,000 ventilators were produced & procured in mission mode and sent to all states. But it is saddening to see visuals of ventilators sent through PM-CARES Fund lying around unused in certain states. I hope you address these issues on a priority.
In this fight against the pandemic, the conduct of the topmost Congress leaders including former Congress President Shri Rahul Gandhi will be remembered for duplicity and pettiness. Your party, under your leadership, is doing no favors to itself by opposing lockdowns and then demanding for the same, ignoring the Centre’s advisories on the second wave of COVID and then saying they did not get any information, holding massive election rallies in Kerala causing a spike in COVID cases while grandstanding about election rallies elsewhere, support-ing protests but speaking about following COVID guidelines. Even when the second wave was on the rise, your party leaders were happier being seen in super spreader political events in North India, where there was no regard for masks or social distancing. This is not the era when such information can be erased from public memory.”
We had reported on how the ventilators sent to the states of Rajasthan, Punjab and Jharkhand were lying unused and gathering dust at the beginning of the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic.
It is imperative to note that Union Minister Prakash Javadekar in his exclusive write-up to the media had also explicitly mentioned that the state of Kerala was warned by the Centre of the second wave of the pandemic in the month of January itself.
Sonia Gandhi attacks PM
The letter by the BJP party president comes days after Sonia Gandhi from a parliamentary party meeting had launched an attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi alleging that the Centre has failed to manage the health crisis.
“India is in the grip of a deadly health disaster. Thousands have died and millions are scrambling to access basic healthcare, life-saving medicines, oxygen, and vaccines. It is heartbreaking to see people battling for their lives in hospitals, on roads, waiting in vehicles, far too many for want of any medical help at all.
And what is the Modi government doing? Instead of alleviating their suffering and pain, it has abdicated its fundamental responsibilities and duties towards the people,” Sonia had said in her speech.