On Sunday, Congress leader and former Lok Sabha MP Milind Deora took to Twitter to put out a bizarre tweet that has now become an object of ridicule on social media platforms.
Milind Deora, the former Lok Sabha MP from Mumbai South, tweeted a list of institutions, comprising pharma companies, hospitals and defence research institutes, to make a stunning claim that the Congress party had a role in building the institutions that were mentioned in his list.
“What was Congress doing for 60 years?” Milind Deora asked a question, to which he himself responded by answering, “Laying the foundations for India’s fight against #COVID19, the first global pandemic in over 100 years.”
Attached to his tweet was a list of institutions, which according to him, were built on the mercy of the Congress party. As per Deora, the Congress party had laid the foundation for all these organisations. The Congress leader listed 5 Indian pharmaceutical companies in the private sector, 8 hospitals, and one laboratory, claiming that the Congress party was behind the establishment of them.
However, in the long list, the number of institutions set up by a Congress govt is minuscule, with a majority of them are the results of efforts of either private entrepreneurs or BJP governments. This means Milind Deora is crediting Congress party for organisations started by industrialists and BJP govt.
Here is the list of organisations that were mentioned in Milind Deora’s list: Let us examine whether these institutions have any links to the Congress party:
Serum Institute of India Pvt. Ltd, which is the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer by the number of doses produced and sold globally, was founded in 1966 by Dr Cyrus Poonawalla to manufacture life-saving immuno-biologicals, which were in shortage in the country and imported at high prices.
Presently, Adar Poonawalla, the son of Cyrus Poonawalla, is the Chairman and Managing Director of the Pune-based the Serum Institute of India. As far as today, neither Adar nor Cryus Poonawalla has officially joined the Congress party. Hence, it is wrong to claim that the Congress party has any links to the above organisation.
Bharat Biotech, the Indian biotechnology company headquartered in Hyderabad, known for producing one of the world’s most effective and cheapest vaccines, was founded in 1996 by the husband-wife duo Dr Krishna M. Ella and Suchitra Ella. The couple returned from the US to set up a company dedicated to creating innovative vaccines and bio-therapeutics.
Bharat Biotech’s Covid-19 ‘Covaxin’ is one of the two Covid-19 vaccines that are currently being administered in the country.
There are no factual records to suggest that the Congress party has any commercial or intellectual connections with the Bharat Biotech. Hench, Milind Deora’s claim that the Congress party had laid the foundation for this company is an outright lie.
Cadila, a leading Indian Pharmaceutical company, was founded by Mr Ramanbhai B. Patel, a first-generation entrepreneur, in 1952. In 1995, the group was restructured to name Zydila Cadila Healthcare after their merger with the Zydus group.
Pharma major Zydus Cadila is presently conducting clinical trials of its Covid-19 vaccine candidate ZyCoV-D, which is expected to hit markets soon.
As we looked into the company’s history, the pharma giant has no prior connection whatsoever with the Congress party.
Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Limited, one of the country’s major pharmaceutical company headquartered in Mumbai, was founded by Dilip Shanghvi in 1983 in Vapi, Gujarat. In 2014, the company acquired Ranbaxy to become the largest Indian pharma company in the US and the 5th largest speciality generic company globally.
Yet again, neither Congress party nor the Nehru-Gandhi family has any links with the pharma major.
Dr Reddy’s Lab:
Dr Reddy’s Laboratories, which manufactures and markets a wide range of pharmaceuticals in India and overseas, was founded by Kallam Anji Reddy in Hyderabad in 1984.
2-deoxy-D-glucose or 2-DG is an oral anti-Covid-19 drug developed by the Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Allied Sciences (INMAS), a lab of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), in collaboration with Dr Reddy’s Laboratory. The drug is expected to help hospitalised Covid-19 patients and reduce their supplemental oxygen dependence.
The Congress party has role in the inception or the management of Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories.
All the above institutions mentioned by the Congress leader are built by private capital and intellect. Congress party has no claim whatsoever on these private enterprises.
Milind Deora claimed that 7 AIIMSs were set up by Congress, which included the original AIIMS Delhi and six others established much later. While the Congress leader thinks its an achievement, actually it shows how the Congress govts ignore the healthcare sector for half a century. Because, while the AIIMS Delhi was set up in 1956, all the others mentioned in the list were established in 2012 or later. This means, there was only one AIIMS for half a century, most of which was under the rule of the Congress party.
Moreover, other than AIIMS Delhi, Congress can’t claim credit for the other 6 AIIMSs, as they were announced by the Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led BJP government. In 2003, the National Democratic Alliance government had announced the Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana scheme with the primary objective of “correcting the imbalances of availability of affordable/reliable tertiary level healthcare in the country”.
On August 15, 2003, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, in his Independence Day speech, said, “I know what people in under-developed states have to suffer due to the lack of good hospital services there. Therefore, under the Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana, six new hospitals with modern facilities, like those available at AIIMS in Delhi, will be established in backward states in the next three years.”
The setting up of six new AIIMS was announced and sanctioned during the NDA government’s time. The budgetary allocations to construct the AIIMS at the six places – Bhopal, Bhubaneswar, Jodhpur, Patna, Raipur and Rishikesh, were made under the PMSSY scheme during the Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led government.
As these mega projects have long gestation periods, the construction of AIIMS at six different places was only completed in 2012, which coincidentally was under the UPA rule.
For some reason, Milind Deora didn’t mention AIIMS Raebareli, which was both planned and established during UPA 2 govt.
Ganga Ram hospital:
According to the Ganga Ram hospital website, the hospital was founded initially in 1921 at Lahore by Sir Ganga Ram (1851-1927), a civil engineer and leading philanthropist of his times. After the partition in 1947, the new premises of the hospital was established in New Delhi on a plot of land of approximately 11 acres.
Only, the foundation stone of the new premises was laid by the then Prime Minister of India Jawahar Lal Nehru in April 1951 and was also inaugurated by him on 13 April 1954. Nehru laying the foundation stone for a new premises does not give Congress party any right to claim on Ganga Ram hospital.
Hence, out of the entire list of organisations mentioned by Congress leader Milind Deora in his tweet, claiming to be the achievements of the Congress party, only two institutions have some association with the Congress party – AIIMS Delhi and the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).
All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Delhi, widely known as AIIMS Delhi, is an Autonomous Medical University located in New Delhi. The foundation stone of AIIMS Delhi was laid in 1952 by the then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru. As Jawaharlal Nehru is one of the most cherished Congress party leaders, though not for the rest of the country, the Congress party can have a moral claim for building AIIMS Delhi.
Likewise, the DRDO was established in 1958 by amalgamating the Defence Science Organisation and some of the technical development establishments during the Nehru-led government. A separate Department of Defence Research and Development was formed in 1980, during Indira Gandhi’s rule. So, Milind Deora is, in fact, right when he says the Congress party had laid the foundation for the DRDO and AIIMS Delhi.
One has remind them that both AIIMS Delhi and DRDO were built on taxpayers money and not on the funds provided by the Congress party.
But, it is extremely unethical and dishonest on the part of the Congress leaders like Milind Deora to appropriate institutions built by individuals with all their years of hard work and dedication. Similarly, it is shameful to claim that Congress laid the foundations for the six AIIMS hospitals that were announced and sanctioned under the NDA rule in 2003.
Milind Deora wants Congress party to appropriate achievements of Indian industry
It looks like the Congress ‘youth’ leader Milind Deora wants to unethically appropriate all the achievements of India Inc to the Congress party. The appropriation of success of Indian industry by the Congress party leader Milind Deora comes at a time when Deora’s boss Rahul Gandhi spews venom against the very same hardworking, job-creating Indian industrialists.
While Rahul Gandhi foul-mouths the Indian capitalists, who have built resilient industries across different sectors despite facing several hardships under the Congress rule, the likes of Milind Deora tries to steal away all the credit from these organisations, which have guided the country into self-sufficiency in several sectors.