A medic demonstrates the administration of COVAXIN, COVID-19 vaccine, on a health worker during a dry run, in Srinagar (PTI)
NEW DELHI: As several Congress members raised apprehensions about the approval process for India-made vaccine against Covid-19, BJP slammed the opposition party, with its president J P Nadda urging Congress to stop playing with the lives of people and causing panic by "wild theories".
"Time and again we have seen whenever India achieves something commendable - that will further public good - Congress comes up with wild theories to oppose and ridicule the accomplishments. The more they oppose, the more they are exposed. Latest example is the Covid vaccine," Nadda said. "To further their own failed politics and nefarious agendas, Congress and other Opposition leaders are trying to cause panic in the minds of the people. I urge them to do politics on other issues," he said.
Union health minister Harsh Vardhan was equally unhappy over the opposition leaders' remarks as he tweeted, "Disgraceful for anyone to politicise such a critical issue. Wake up and realise you are only discrediting yourselves!"
He tagged opposition leaders, including Congress's Shashi Tharoor, Jairam Ramesh and SP's Akhilesh Yadav, in his tweet. Yadav had on Saturday asked people not to get vaccinated.
Tharoor, Ramesh as well as senior Congress member Anand Sharma had raised concerns over India's drugs regulator granting permission for the restricted use of Bharat Biotech's Covid-19 vaccine. "The health ministry needs to give cogent reasons for dispensing with the mandatory protocols and requirements in this case, since it involves the health and safety of those frontline workers who will be vaccinated under the restricted category," Sharma said.
Sharma's concerns were echoed by Jairam Ramesh and Tharoor. Ramesh said Bharat Biotech is a “first-rate enterprise”, but it was “puzzling” why the government “modified” internationallyaccepted protocols relating to phase 3 trials for Covaxin.
BJP hit back with petroleum minister Dharmendra Pradhan reacting, “Belittling the nation’s accomplishments is an all time hobby of the Congress and its band of ‘rent-acause’ leaders.”