A day after the Congress Working Committee lambasted the Modi government’s “indifference, insensitivity and incompetence” in handling the country’s COVID situation, BJP chief J P Nadda on Tuesday (May 11) wrote a four-page letter to Sonia Gandhi, saying the Congress was trying to weaken the fight against the pandemic.
Nadda in his letter listed the measures the Centre has been taking for vaccination, augmenting medical facilities and coordinating with the states in containing the pandemic. He cited the alleged instances in which the Congress was “misleading people, creating false panic and even contradicting their stands just based on political considerations.”
“You must ask yourselves – in times as these, is your party’s conduct weakening the morale of Covid warriors? Deliberately or otherwise, are your actions trying to weaken this fight against Covid-19?” Nadda said. The BJP chief also fired back at criticism over large election rallies held by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“Your party, under your leadership, is doing no favours 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, supporting protests but speaking about following COVID guidelines,” Nadda said in his letter.
“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 an era when such information can be erased from public memory.”
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, while campaigning for West Bengal Assembly polls on April 18, had praised the large crowd – which did not follow COVID protocol — at his rally in Asansol on a day India had reported 2.34 lakh new Covid cases.
“In all directions I see huge crowds of people… have witnessed such a rally for the first time… Today, you have shown your power. The next step is more important — go and vote and take others also,” Modi had said.
Nadda also took potshots at Rahul Gandhi, saying the conduct of topmost Congress leaders, including him, would be remembered for “duplicity and pettiness”.
“One would wish that while India is fighting COVID-19 with utmost courage, the top echelons of Congress would stop misleading people, creating false panic and even contradicting their stands based on political considerations,” Nadda wrote, with a “deep sense of pain”.
The BJP chief accused the Congress of mocking the made-in-India Covaxin and creating doubts in the minds of people. “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,” the BJP president said.
Responding to Sonia Gandhi’s criticism of the government “abdicating its responsibility on vaccination”, Nadda said that in April, “topmost Congress leaders” were calling for decentralization of vaccination.
He called a “new trend in the Congress party” of putting all blame on the Central Vista project for worsening COVID situation in the country.