Responding to Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s criticism of the Centre’s handling of the pandemic, Union Minister Smriti Irani on Tuesday called him a “gyani baba (wise monk)” who is “dishing out pearls of wisdom” to others, while not introspecting why those states ruled by his own party fared poorly in curbing the second wave.
Ms Irani alleged that the second wave began in “Congress-ruled states” and a state governed by the party reported the highest fatality rate. She, however, did not name any state. In a series of tweets, the BJP leader listed how Congress-ruled states fared on several parameters to curb the pandemic.
State with the highest case fatality rate – Congress ruled state
States with maximum noise against vaccines creating vaccine hesitancy – Congress ruled states
States which had an astronomical positivity rate during the second wave – Congress ruled states
— Smriti Z Irani (@smritiirani) June 22, 2021
She also accused the Congress of doing a “U-turn” on its demand of vaccine decentralisation and creating a “noise” that, she added, led to hesitancy among people. She also claimed that Congress-ruled states “did the worst” in terms of vaccination, even as India created a record by vaccinating more than 86 lakh people on Monday. The new vaccination strategy, led by the Centre, came into effect on Monday.
Her outburst against Mr Gandhi has come hours after he criticised Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the government’s handling of the devastating second wave. He released a “white paper” that he said was a “blueprint” on how the authorities should respond to the possible third wave.
“90 per cent of people who died (in the second wave) could have been saved. The biggest reason (they died) was lack of oxygen. The PM’s tears can’t wipe families’ tears… his tears can’t save them, oxygen can. But he didn’t take it seriously as his focus was on Bengal (election),” Mr. Gandhi had said.
He also questioned the government’s inability to compensate families for losing their primary earner to COVID-19, pointing out that the Centre is “making Rs. 4 lakh crore from petrol and diesel (price hikes)”. Read more about it here.
“Families who have lost breadwinners must be compensated,” the Congress leader had demanded, and added, “Covid is going to be disastrous for this country in the third wave.”