The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Sunday said that statements by COVID-19 vaccine sceptics among Opposition leaders were playing into the hands of vested interests and demonstrated that the Opposition refused to be proud of “anything Indian”.
Party chief J.P. Nadda took to Twitter to make these statements against certain Opposition leaders who termed the COVID-19 vaccines as suspect and fraudulent, amid government regulatory clearance given to the Oxford Astra Zeneca Covishield vaccine as well as conditional approval given to Covaxin by Bharat Biotech.
“Congress and the Opposition is not proud of anything Indian. They should introspect about how their lies on the COVID-19 vaccine will be used by vested interest groups for their own agendas. People of India have been rejecting such politics and will keep doing so in the future,” Mr. Nadda tweeted.
“Within a year of the COVID-19 pandemic coming to India, our scientists and innovators have worked hard for a vaccine to cure this pandemic. While the entire nation is happy about this, the Opposition led [by] the Congress is filled with anger, ridicule and disdain,” he 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, they should avoid playing with people’s previous lives and hard earned livelihoods,” he added.
While Samajwadi Party leader and former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav has said he would not take the vaccine terming it a “BJP vaccine”, Congress spokesperson Salman Niazi said it was a “fraud”.
Another Congress leader, Rashid Alvi, spoke to a TV news channel in support of Mr. Yadav. “The way the BJP and Prime Minister Modi have used agencies including CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation), Income Tax Department and Enforcement Directorate against Opposition leaders, I think there’s nothing wrong with it if Akhilesh Yadav fears that vaccine can be misused. The way the government is working against Opposition leaders, fear is justified,” he said.