BJP links vaccine approval with 'Aatmanirbhar Bharat'
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday linked the emergency use approval to two vaccines with his “Aatmanirbhar Bharat” (self-reliant India) slogan and went all out to claim yet another big achievement made by the country under him.
Ministers, chief ministers, BJP chief and party leaders joined to amplify Modi’s message on social media platforms.
“A decisive turning point to strengthen a spirited fight!” Modi said in a tweet, describing what the Drugs Controller General of India (DGCI) granting approval to two vaccines meant. He congratulated India and our “scientists and innovators” before linking with his “Aatmanirbhar” slogan, seeking to reap political mileage.
“It would make India proud that the two vaccines that have been given emergency use approval are made in India!” he said in another tweet. “This shows the eagerness of our scientific community to fulfil the dream of an Aatmanirbhar Bharat, at the root of which is care and compassion,” he added.
The drum beating around the vaccine approval appeared to be aimed at drowning the farmers’ protest on social media platforms.
“A momentous achievement for India!” home minister Amit Shah tweeted.
“A visionary leadership can make a huge difference,” Shah said. “The approval to Made in India vaccines will prove to be a game changer in boosting PM @NarendraModi’s vision of an Aatmanirbhar Bharat,” he added.
BJP chief J.P. Nadda first lauded PM Modi for the “swadeshi tikon” (made-in-India vaccines), terming it a new milestone and then settling to slam the Congress for raising questions over grant of approval to the vaccine made by Bharat Biotech without evidence that it would offer protection against the virus.
“Congress and the Opposition is not proud of anything Indian,” Nadda tweeted.
The attack was primarily directed at Congress leader Shashi Tharoor’s tweet raising the red flag over “premature” approval granted to made-in-India Covaxin. Tharoor had pointed out that Covaxin had not undergone phase-3 trials.
Another Congress leader Jairam Ramesh, too, said it was “puzzling” that “internationally-accepted protocols relating to phase 3 trials are being modified for Covaxin” and sought clarification from health minister Harsh Vardhan.