On Tuesday (February 8), Prime Minister Narendra Modi slammed the Congress and Opposition parties for fuelling vaccine hesitancy in India. He made the remarks during his reply to the Motion of Thanks on the President’s Address in the Rajya Sabha.
PM Modi said, “A few leaders of some political parties have shown immaturity in the last 2 years which has disappointed the nation. We have seen how games have been played due to political selfishness. Campaigns were done against Indian vaccines.”
Speaking in the Rajya Sabha. Watch. https://t.co/P7g9rxlIH3— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) February 8, 2022
He added that leaders must work for the people, irrespective of their political affiliations. “The mindset that being in the Opposition means stop working towards solving people’s issues is wrong,” he pointed out.
Congress and Opposition parties fuelled ‘vaccine hesitancy’ in India
At a time when Covid-19 cases were on the rise, we had witnessed how the Congress ecosystem and other Opposition parties had tried to derail the ongoing vaccination drive. While some opposed vaccination programme to turn around their political fortunes, others targetted the vaccine manufacturers in a bid to demoralise them. One of the strategies employed by them was discrediting the indigenous Covaxin vaccine, developed by Bharat Biotech. The government had approved its emergency use in the month of January 2021.
Using this as the primary tool for propaganda, Congress leaders such as Shashi Tharoor, Manish Tewari, and Chhattisgarh health Minister TS Singh Deo trivialised the vaccination drive altogether. This is despite the fact that Covishield (developed by Oxford-Astrazeneca) and manufactured by Serum Institue of India (SII) was primarily used until Covaxin completed the third phase trials (with 81% efficacy). Samajwadi Party leader Akhilesh Yadav had gone even a step further to claim that he could not trust ‘BJP’s vaccine’. He claimed that he would only get vaccinated when his government is formed after the next election.
PM Modi speaks about government initiatives to fight Covid-19
During his speech in the Rajya Sabha, PM Modi highlighted the initiatives taken by the BJP government at the Centre to provide relief to people amidst the Wuhan Coronavirus pandemic. He pointed out that a total of 23 meetings were conducted with the Chief Ministers of States on the issue since the outbreak of Covid-19.
He informed that the Indian government provided free ration to 80 crore people and set an example of welfarism before the world. PM Modi said that the government focussed on infrastructure projects to generate jobs during the pandemic. He pointed out that record number of houses were built, which were equipped with tap water connections. He said that more than 5 crore rural families were impacted under the ‘Nal se Jal’ scheme.
He said that a conscious decision was taken to avoid lockdowns in rural areas and impacting the lives of farmers. As such, MSMEs and agriculture sector has been generating emploment opportunities on a large scale. While speaking about the vaccination programme, he said that the government is working towards achieving 100% vaccination.
PM Modi applauded the discipline and willpower of 130 crore people since the outbreak of the pandemic. He appreciated the people’s response to Covid-19 jabs amidst global vaccine hesitancy and anti-vax campaigns. While talking about the job market, he pointed out record trends in hiring in IT sector wherein 27 lakh jobs were generated. At the same time, he said that India built unicorn companies in 1 year equalivelnt to total unicorns in India till date.