Joshi asked whether the Congress leaders had not got vaccinated as they did not have faith in Indian vaccines. “When we started vaccination in January, Congress leaders raised questions on vaccine efficacy. Now, they are taking the vaccine. As per my knowledge, Sonia and Rahul Gandhi haven’t taken vaccines. They don’t have confidence in the Indian vaccine,” Joshi said.
Law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad accused the opposition of flip-flop on the fight against the pandemic and of doing its best to create hurdles in the vaccination drive. Citing remarks of leaders including Sonia and Rahul Gandhi, West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee and Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal, Prasad accused the opposition of changing its stand in a month’s time. “It shows that opposition parties were doing politics with the sole intent to stall the vaccination drive,” he added. “When those in the age category of 18-44 were allowed to be vaccinated, a peculiar chorus started that health is a state subject and state governments should be allowed to procure vaccines and distribute,” Prasad said, citing letters of Rahul (March 8), Banerjee (February 24 and April 21) and Kejriwal (March 18). Prasad said senior Congress leader Anand Sharma suggested that India had a federal structure and health was a state subject, therefore, the Centre couldn’t control it. He also recalled that on May 12, Sonia, Sharad Pawar, Banerjee and other opposition leaders wrote to the PM that vaccines should be procured centrally. “The opposition leaders took a Uturn after they could not do it efficiently,” he added. Prasad said the opposition parties were doing politics to stall the vaccination drive or were creating hurdles as noticed in Congress ruled states of Rajasthan where vaccines were dumped and in Punjab where vaccines were diverted to private hospitals for high premiums