New Delhi: A day after the Congress Working Committee blamed Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his government for mishandling the Covid-19 crisis, BJP president J.P. Nadda, in a letter to Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Tuesday, said he was “saddened but not surprised by the conduct of the Congress during these challenging times” as it “did not do the right thing, instead only did wrong politics” over the global pandemic. In a four-page letter, Mr Nadda said under Mr Modi, “India’s fight against Covid is driven by unwavering belief in the principles of science, support to innovation, trust in our Covid warriors and cooperative federalism”, while pointing out that the conduct of top Congress leaders, including Rahul Gandhi, “will be remembered for duplicity and pettiness”. He also added, though, that there are “certainly a few members of your (Congress) party who (like several other selfless citizens) are doing commendable work in helping people, (but) their hard work gets eclipsed by the consistent negativity spread by the more senior members of the party”. Mr Nadda also accused Congress leaders, including a chief minister, of trying to actively create vaccine hesitancy during the “once-in-a-century” pandemic. Mr Nadda accused the Congress of “misleading people, creating false panic and even contradicting their stands just based on political considerations”.
Hitting back over the criticism of his party for holding huge poll rallies in April even as Covid-19 cases surged across the nation and also over the construction of the Central Vista project, Mr Nadda said the Congress leaders too held massive election rallies in Kerala, causing a spike in the Covid cases and were now “grandstanding” about poll rallies elsewhere. Responding to the CWC’s charge of the Modi government abdicating its responsibilities on vaccinations, Mr Nadda alleged there seemed to be a “communication gap between the Congress Party and the states it shared power” as in April, the Congress top brass were seeking decentralisation of vaccinations.
“Even when the second wave was on the rise, your party’s leaders were happier being seen at 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,” wrote Mr Nadda.
The BJP leader said the Centre had so far distributed 16 crore vaccines to the states and 50 per cent of them were being provided even now free of cost, and asked Mrs Gandhi if the states where her party was in power would also give free jabs to people as those ruled by the BJP and its allies have done. He also said the poor had been provided with food and DBT (direct benefit transfer) distribution.
Mr Nadda said the Modi government had engaged with all stakeholders, including CMs, in fighting the pandemic, and former Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda had also acknowledged that.
On the Congress’ allegation about the BJP government mishandling the crisis, Mr Nadda wrote: “There are other aspects that also need greater thought. For instance, the data from February and March would reveal which states had 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.”
Defending the ongoing Central Vista project, he said there is a “new trend” in the Congress to put all the blame on this while noting that the need for a new Parliament building had been raised during the tenure of the Congress-led UPA government.