'Propaganda Can't Whitewash Deaths', Congress Slams Gov't for Celebrating Billion Vaccine Milestone
11:29 GMT 25.10.2021 (Updated: 10:39 GMT 19.07.2022)
India achieved the milestone of administering the COVID-19 vaccine to 1 billion people on 21 October which has been taken by the BJP-led federal government as a cause for great rejoicing. Some euphoric BJP politicians have even wrongfully claimed that India "is the first country in the world " to have achieved that feat.
A senior politician from India's main opposition party, Congress, has slammed the BJP-led central government for trying to "whitewash" its failure in dealing with the COVID-19 crisis by stoking up excessive euphoria over the billion vaccine milestone.
Congress general-secretary Randeep Singh Surjewala has claimed that "only 21 percent of adult Indians have received two vaccine shots, and more than 300 million in the 4 to 17 age range have not received any shot."
In an article that he wrote for the Indian news daily, 'The Indian Express', Surjewala said that "celebration of the vaccination milestone is mere propaganda to distract from the government's abdication of duty during the second wave of the pandemic."
21 October 2021, 06:19 GMT
"It is a sign of a leader losing his grip on electoral reality when he starts buying into myths of his own creation. However, when that propaganda seeks to whitewash the death of millions of fellow citizens, it is unforgivable and even criminal," he wrote.
"Especially when a large number of those deaths were avoidable and caused as a direct result of the government's incompetence and negligence," Surjewala added.
Maintaining that "Modi's government is back to doing what it does best" Surjewala claimed, "In its latest propaganda blitzkrieg, it is attempting to rewrite the narrative of the horrifying devastation during the first and second waves of the COVID-19 pandemic by seeking to direct attention towards the vaccine drive."
More than 450,000 people have died in India because of COVID-19 in two waves of the pandemic sweeping through the country that saw the health infrastructure crumbling and hospitals across the country running out of oxygen and essential supplies.
The number of cases reported in India so far has reached 34,189,774, recuperating from the last lethal COVID-19 wave that crippled the country in the month of May.