Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Monday hit out at Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan for his “politically motivated” response to Manmohan Singh’s critique of the Centre’s COVID-19 management, saying it was “unfortunate and condemnable”. He said former prime minister Manmohan Singh had written to his successor Narendra Modi giving positive suggestions about vaccination in the public interest.
There was no criticism of the government, the Rajasthan Chief Minister said. “It is unfortunate and condemnable on the part of the Union health minister to have written a politically motivated reply to the former prime minister,” he tweeted. “Any suggestion given by any person or political party to the central government is treated as criticism and is not tolerated. It seems they know they have committed grave mistakes and are guilt-ridden,” he said.
Manmohan Singh on Sunday wrote to Prime Minister Modi suggesting five measures to battle the COVID-19 crisis, including ramping up vaccination and boosting the supply of medicines. Responding to Singh’s letter, Vardhan alleged the second wave of the pandemic was instead fueled by Congress-ruled states as they were busy raising doubts about vaccines rather than vaccinating people.
The letter drafters of the senior Congress leader have done a great disservice to his standing, he said. Tweeting the letter to Singh, the health minister said, “History shall be kinder to you Dr. Manmohan Singh ji if your offer of ‘constructive cooperation’ and valuable advice was followed by your @INCIndia leaders as well in such extraordinary times !”
Gehlot also accused the Union health minister of misleading people on the availability of vaccines. “It is very unfortunate that the minister gives false statements on the issue of availability of vaccines in states. The reality is that the Government of India has failed to ensure an uninterrupted supply of adequate vaccines to the states,” he told PTI.
The Chief Minister said Rajasthan has COVID vaccine stock sufficient only for two to three days. He also reiterated that the prime minister should cancel his political programme and hold regular dialogues with the chief ministers to know the ground situation.