Opposition parties criticising the Covid vaccination drive should introspect more instead of pointing fingers at the centre, BJP general secretary Bhupender Yadav said today, quipping “they were cleaning the mirror while the dirt was on their face”.
The BJP leader praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his “stellar leadership” in the face of the pandemic, saying he led the country from the front during the crisis while opposition parties and states ruled by them were busy washing their hands of the responsibility.
The opposition is mandated to offer constructive criticism, and it is welcome, but it should be rational, Mr Yadav said.
Leaders of the opposition parties, including Rahul Gandhi, and their chief ministers were the ones who asked for decentralising the drive, he said.
“They only demanded the right to directly approach vaccine producers, and when the government has done that, why are they crying foul,” Mr Yadav asked.
Underlining that health is a state subject, the BJP leader claimed, “Many vaccination centres in opposition-ruled states were reporting that not enough people were turning up for the jabs. Rajasthan was caught burying vaccines in pits and throwing it away in garbage bins, while Punjab wanted to make a profit out of the vaccines by selling them to private hospitals.”
Rather than focusing on effective implementation of the vaccination drive, the opposition was flip-flopping on this sensitive issue, he said, adding that it was Prime Minister Modi who took the responsibility in his hand.
“This entire fiasco of the opposition amid this pandemic reminds me of a few lines… Woh umar bhar yahi karta raha, dhool chehere pe thi aur aiyna saaf karta raha (They continued to commit this mistake the whole life, they cleaned the mirror while the dirt was on their face),” Mr Yadav told PTI.
Emphasising on the importance of inoculation, he said vaccines were a valuable resource and should not be wasted.
“Each jab saved is a life saved. The state government and agencies concerned should act swiftly to take action against the people responsible and make sure this is not repeated. Our government at the Centre is making continuous efforts to make vaccines available for everyone,” he said.
Targeting the opposition, the BJP leader said they tried to play politics by creating doubts in the minds of people around the vaccines.
One leader even went on to call it a “BJP vaccine”, while another questioned its efficiency through a press statement which led to vaccine hesitancy, Mr Yadav said.
“The misfortune, however, over the past seven years has been that the opposition has only indulged in negative politics because it is unnerved by the massive popularity of Prime Minister Modi and the huge ground support for the BJP,” he said.
Mr Yadav asserted that the centre’s decisions to tackle the pandemic were taken after consulting scientists, virologists, subject experts and other stakeholders.
Describing the pandemic as a “once-in-a century” crisis, the BJP leader said the opposition should stop politicising the issue and work together with the centre in helping people.