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BJP PRESIDENT JP NADDA HITS OUT AT CONGRESS PARTY FOR WEAKENING INDIA’S FIGHT AGAINST COVID-19 PANDEMIC

In a letter that highlights the unfortunate attempts made by Congress to derail India’s fight against COVID-19, BJP President JP Nadda’s letter to Congress President Sonia Gandhi is a reflection of the role of the grand old party as India fights the unprecedented. The letter brings out the various ways in which the Congress created vaccine hesitancy through deliberate misinformation campaign against Indian made vaccine to supporting ‘super spreader’ protests and holding massive rallies in Kerala.

Here are the key takeaways of the BJP Party President’s letter:

Modi Government is Leading Fight Against COVID-19
  • 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 as the second wave disrupted lives and livelihoods across the length and breadth of the country.
  • India’s vaccination strategy has been guided by global best practices. It commenced early in January and ensured that COVID-19 warriors got their shots first. This has helped India greatly in fighting the second wave considering the frontline staff is not as vulnerable as it was during the first wave.
  • The Prime Minister is working closely with all Chief Ministers to defeat COVID-19 including chairing several meetings with Chief Ministers at regular intervals.
  • Union Government has provided 16 crore doses of COVID-19 vaccines to states in the first few phases. Even now, the Union Government continues to give 50% of the total vaccines, free of cost.
  • So far around 45,000 ventilators have been produced & procured in mission mode and sent to various States.
Congress Created Vaccine Hesitancy
  • Throughout the last year, when Indian scientists, doctors and innovators were racing against time to find a vaccine, Congress Party leaders left no opportunity to mock the collective 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, Congress Party has the dubious record of trying to actively create it, that too, in the middle of a once-in-a-century pandemic.
  • When States with BJP or NDA government have announced their resolve to help the poor by providing vaccines for free, can’t the Congress State Governments 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.
Duplicity and Pettiness of Congress Party
  • 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.
  • Congress is doing no favour to itself by opposing lockdowns and then subsequently demanding for the same; ignoring the Centre’s advisories on the second wave of COVID-19 and then claiming that they did not get any information is unbecoming behavior.
  • Congress also held massive election rallies in Kerala causing a spike in COVID-19 cases while grandstanding about election rallies elsewhere, supporting protests but speaking about following COVID-19 guidelines.
  • Even when the second wave was on the rise, Congress 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.
  • Data from February and March would reveal which states failed to track the rising cases. Why are mortality rates in states such as Punjab so high?
Busting Congress Propaganda on Central Vista and Parliament
  • The need for a new Parliament was raised as early as the UPA times.
  • Former Speaker, Meira Kumar herself underscored the need for a new Parliament building.
  • People are also contrasting the Congress’ stand on Central Vista with the Chhattisgarh Government going ahead to build a new assembly complex.
Congress Weakening Morale of COVID-19 Warriors
  • The BJP Party President writes that having served as India’s Health Minister, he has seen at close quarters the sacrifices our medical staff make to ensure the well-being of others. They risk their lives so that fellow Indians can unite with their families.
  • Under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, India’s fight against COVID-19 is driven by unwavering belief in principles of science, support to innovation, trust in our COVID-19 warriors and cooperative federalism
  • He urges Ms Gandhi to assess if in times as these, is her party’s conduct not weakening the morale of these COVID-19 warriors?
Full text of the letter:

Adarniya Smt. Sonia Gandhi Ji,

Trust this letter finds you in fine fettle.

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.

The Congress Working Committee talks about the Modi Government “abdicating” its responsibility on vaccination. Is there so much of a communication gap between the Congress party and the states it shares power in? In April itself, topmost Congress leaders were calling for ‘decentralisation of vaccination’.

The Government of India has already ensured that considerable coverage has been achieved in priority groups by providing over 16 crore vaccines to states in the first few phases. Even now, it continues to give 50% of the total vaccines, free of cost.

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 dis cussed 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 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 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. 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.

There are other aspects that also need greater thought. For instance, the data from February and March would reveal which states failed to track the rising cases. Why are mortality rates in states such as Punjab so high? These are questions you must ask your own Chief Ministers.

Now, there is a new trend in the Congress party- to put all the blame on the Central Vista project. I would like to remind you that the need for a new Parliament was raised as early as the UPA times. Former Speaker, respected Meira Kumar Ji herself underscored the need for a new Parliament building. The Union Urban Development Minister has addressed a large number of other queries regarding the project. Yet, the Congress does not believe in facts. People are also contrasting the Congress’ stand on Central Vista with the Chhattisgarh Government going ahead to build a new assembly complex.

No less than the Supreme Court, the highest court of our land, said that the health infrastructure we have inherited over the last 70 years is inadequate. Needless to say which party has dominated India’s political landscape in these seven decades.

I could go on about such follies but as I said, our focus is solely on the pandemic and not on politics. My letter to you is not only as the President of another political party. I have also had the honour of serving of as India’s Health Minister. I have seen at close quarters the sacrifices our medical staff make so that others are healthy. They risk their lives so that fellow Indians can unite with their families.

You must ask yourselves in times as these, is your party’s conduct weakening the morale of these COVID-warriors? Deliberately or otherwise, are your actions trying to weaken this fight against COVID-19?

Under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, India’s fight against COVID is driven by unwavering belief in principles of science, support to innovation, trust in our COVID warriors and cooperative federalism. I assure you that the Government of India will continue being proactive so that we defeat the virus and get ahead with economic as well as social empowerment.

Regards,

Jagat Prakash Nadda

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