A day after Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on fighting Covid-19, Union Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan on Monday asked the former PM to urge Congress party members to follow his advice and show “gratitude” for the work done in fighting the virus.
On Sunday, Singh wrote to PM Modi saying that the country is “facing an unprecedented emergency” and asked the Centre to make public details of the orders placed by the Government for Covid vaccine doses and indicate the strategy for them to be distributed in a transparent manner.
In a detailed reply to Singh’s letter, Vardhan wrote, “It is saddening, Dr Singh, that while you very well understand, the importance of vaccination as an important method of fighting Covid battle, people in responsible positions in your party as well as in the state government formed by your party do not seem to share your view.”
While respecting the former prime minister’s intentions, Vardhan cited “false inaccuracies” in his letter. Some of the suggestions made by the former prime minister, Vardhan wrote, were already implemented by the Centre. “The point about allowing import of vaccines has already been approved by credible foreign authorities. You made this suggestion on April 18 and a decision about this was already taken a week before on April 11,” the letter read.
Vardhan also slammed the Congress party members for their “lack of gratitude” over India’s vaccine journey. “It is shocking that senior members of the Congress party are yet to utter a single word of gratitude towards our scientist community and vaccine manufacturers for innovating under trying circumstances and empowering the world with vaccines.”
Instead of showing a sense of pride, Vardhan went on to say, the Congress has taken “extraordinary interest in spreading falsehood regarding the efficacy of these vaccines. Therefore, Vardhan alleged, Congress “fuelled vaccine hesitancy” and “played with the lives of countrymen.”
“The irresponsible pronouncements made by some of your leaders have resulted in a below national average vaccination coverage of senior citizens and even frontline workers in some Congress-ruled states,” the letter read.
The Congress-ruled states, Vardhan wrote, have become big contributors in Covid’s second wave.
Vardhan concluded his letter by saying that irrespective of the “negativity” spread by the Congress, the Centre will take Dr Singh’s suggestions at face value with the belief that he has national interest in mind.