The government on Wednesday questioned whether Congress leaders Sonia and Rahul Gandhi had been vaccinated.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi said there was lack of clarity on the matter even though the opposition was raising questions over the Centre’s COVID-19 policy.
Joshi asked if a lack of faith in Indian vaccines was behind the Congress leaders’ reluctance to get inoculated.
“When we started vaccination in January, Congress leaders raised questions on vaccine efficacy. Now, they are taking the vaccine. As per my knowledge, Sonia and Rahul Gandhi haven’t taken vaccines. They don’t have confidence in the Indian vaccine,” he said.
Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad accused the opposition of creating hurdles in the vaccination drive.
Citing remarks of leaders including Sonia and Rahul, chief ministers Mamata Banerjee and Arvind Kejriwal, Prasad said: “It shows that opposition parties were doing politics with the sole intent to stall the vaccination drive.”
“When those in the age category of 18-44 were allowed to be vaccinated, a peculiar chorus started that health is a state subject and state governments should be allowed to procure vaccines and distribute,” Prasad said, citing letters of Rahul (March 8), Banerjee (February 24 and April 21) and Kejriwal (March 18).
He also said that on May 12, Sonia, Sharad Pawar, Banerjee and other opposition leaders wrote to the PM that vaccines should be procured centrally. “The opposition leaders took a U-turn after they could not do it efficiently,” he added.