New Delhi, May 16, 2021-
Attacking the Modi government’s handling of the Covid pandemic, the Congress on Sunday also faulted its vaccine policy, saying the muddle arose because the “Prime Minister wanted to become the vaccine guru”.
Addressing a virtual press conference, Congress spokesman Pawan Khera said: “The Government of India did not manage the crisis as well. When it came to negotiation with vaccine manufacturers, when it came to putting in place a vaccine policy, everything was centralised. Actually, it was not even centralised, it was individualised, because someone wanted to be a ‘Vaccine Guru’. Narendra Modi wanted to be known as a ‘Vaccine Guru’.”
He said that India was not short of oxygen but the government delayed setting up of 162 onsite oxygen plants across 14 states by 8 months and “when the crisis hits hard, the state governments were blamed”.
Citing the eight-phase West Bengal Assembly elections, the “super-spreader rallies” and the Kumbh Mela, Khera said that questions were being asked on the government’s decisions. “You can’t have centralised decision-making and decentralised responsibility, both have to be decentralised, both have to be in tune with each other.”
“Today, because of you, different states are negotiating with the same companies, vaccine manufacturers for their people. They will all get different prices… Why? Who will be answer these questions too?” he asked.
Khera alleged that when the nation was getting overwhelmed by the pandemic, one man with his government “still busy trying to save a fake image that he has built of himself. His fake image cannot be more important than my real life, than the real lives of my family members, my friends, my loved ones….” (Agency)