New Delhi: Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) National President JP Nadda on Tuesday (May 11) slammed Congress interim President Sonia Gandhi for her comments on the Centre`s handling of COVID-19 at the Congress Working Committee (CWC) meeting.
In a letter to the Congress interim chief, Nadda said, "Saddened but not surprised by the conduct of Congress during these times. While there are a few members of your party doing commendable work in helping people, their hard work gets eclipsed by negativity spread by senior members of the party."
The BJP chief said, "States with BJP/NDA govt have announced resolve to help the poor and underprivileged by providing vaccines for free. I'm sure that Congress govts in various states also feel strongly for the poor. Can they also come out with similar decision to provide vaccines for free?"
"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 just based on political considerations," the BJP chief said.
Targeting Rahul Gandhi for his "duplicity and pettiness", Nadda said, "In this fight against the pandemic, the conduct of the topmost Congress leaders including former Congress President Rahul Gandhi will be remembered for duplicity and pettiness."
He also pointed out that the Congress` stand on political rallies in recently concluded assembly polls was nothing but grandstanding.
"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.
The BJP chief said, "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," adding that this is not the era when such information can be erased from public memory.
He further said, "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."
"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," he added.
Attacking the comments made at the Congress meeting, Nadda added that 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`," he said.
He pointed that 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 per cent of the total vaccines, free of cost, he added.
Giving details about the Covid vaccination drive initiated by the Centre, he added, "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 BJP chief added.
(With Agency Inputs)