Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, launched a stinging attack on the Centre over the lack of Covid vaccines on Wednesday, alleging that vaccines in India were used for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “personal publicity” rather than to save people’s lives.
This has been the case since the beginning of the pandemic, according to statements on Twitter and Facebook by the Congress general secretary.
She further claimed that the Modi government had pushed the country into a “swamp of vaccine shortages,” leaving India, the world’s largest vaccine maker, reliant on international vaccine donations.
Priyanka Gandhi accused the Centre of shifting the burden of vaccination on states, claiming that the vaccination certificate now just has Prime Minister Modi’s photo on it and the rest of the responsibility has been put on the states. “Today, the chief ministers of states are sending messages to the Central government over the lack of vaccines,” she said in Hindi.
She shared a video of the prime minister saying in an address from the Red Fort on August 15 last year that his government had planned a full immunisation plan. Given India’s history of vaccine manufacture and the breadth of its immunisation programmes, Priyanka Gandhi said it was easy to assume the government will do a better job.
“After all, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru established a vaccine centre in Chennai in 1948 and the National Institute of Virology in Pune in 1952, giving India’s vaccination programme wings. Smallpox, polio, and other illnesses were successfully eradicated.
Later, India began exporting vaccines to other countries, and it is now the world’s largest vaccine producer,” she noted.