Follow Us:

PM Modi slams opposition for finding fault with vaccination drive, ‘rajnitik dhokhadhadi’ over farmers’ and other issues

Hitting out at the opposition parties, Modi said whether it was GST or farm laws or new parliament building they had been engaged in ‘Rajnaitik Dhokhadandi’

Dipankar Chakraborty | New Delhi |

In a dig at the opposition over its alleged attempts to find fault with the Centre’s vaccination drive against Covid-19, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said he had respect for people who criticize and not level allegations.

At the early phase of the vaccination drive, the ruling BJP had come under fire from the opposition Congress over inadequate availability of vaccines. P Chidambaram had also questioned the government’s world record of vaccination on a single day, earlier.

“Hoard on Sunday, vaccinate on Monday and go back to limping on Tuesday…That is the secret behind the world ‘record’ of vaccinations on a ‘single day’. I am sure the ‘feat’ will find a place in the Guinness book of records!” Chidambaram had sarcastically tweeted then.

Prime Minister Modi on Saturday in an interview to a magazine- ‘Open’- said he respected critics ‘a lot’ but of late there appeared to be more people who merely level allegations than engage in criticism which he said required a lot of hard work and research.

“I, with an honest mind, respect critics a lot. But, unfortunately, the number of critics is very low. Mostly, people only level allegations, the people who play games about perception are more in number. And the reason for this is that, for criticism, one has to do a lot of hard work, research and, in today’s fast-paced world, maybe people don’t have time. So sometimes, I miss critics,” the Prime Minister said.

Modi said a whole gamut of issues such as logistics, planning and progress was needed to be looked into to understand the ‘stunning success’ of the world’s largest vaccination drive.

“We need to look at the entire logistics, planning and progress to understand the success of the vaccine drive. It is a huge effort with so many people mobilised across the country. I hope the media will take time out to highlight the efforts of our people in making the world’s largest vaccination drive a stunning success,” PM Modi added.

The Prime Minister said the planning for the vaccination drive started immediately after the Covid-19 outbreak. It was a time when there were hardly any country on the verge of giving approval to a vaccine.

“We started planning for the vaccination drive right in May 2020 when no vaccine was even close to approval anywhere in the world. We had decided as early as then that we did not want this vaccination drive to run in the old way where it could take decades to vaccinate people. We wanted this to run in a fast, efficient, discretion-free and time-bound manner,” Modi further said.

The Prime Minister emphasised that research had been one of the top priorities of his government. He cited an instance from a science conference some years back when he had suggested adding ‘Jai Anusandhan’ or research to ‘Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan, Jai Vigyan’. He said his government had been working on the maxim of “Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan, Jai Vigyan, Jai Anusandhan (research)”.

Attributing the ‘stunning success’ of mass vaccination to ‘Atmanirbhar’ or self-reliant India, Narendra Modi said, “Imagine if our country had not come up with a vaccine. What would be the situation? We know that a large population of the world doesn’t have access to Covid vaccines. Today, our success in vaccination is thanks to India being atmanirbhar.”

The Prime Minister said he always wanted the vaccination to be driven by technology. He said compare to the situation in other parts of the world India today had done better than many developed countries.

“When we compare India’s situation in the world, we have done better than many developed countries. However, we have in our midst vested interests whose only aim is to tarnish India’s name. COVID-19 was a global scourge with all countries equally affected. In this scenario, India has done better than its peers and many developed countries, notwithstanding such negative campaigns,” Modi said.

Seeking to drive home the country’s ability to bring about ‘transformative change’, the Prime Minister said whether focusing on preventive healthcare or becoming self-dependent in the manufacture of a range of products like PPE kits, ventilators all amply exemplify these qualities.

“We are actively focusing on preventive healthcare. From improved sanitation to water supply, from yoga to Ayurveda, from strengthening diagnostic centres in remote areas, we are doing it all,” he said.

“From being a net importer of PPE kits, we have now become one of the biggest manufacturers across the globe. Similarly, we not only managed to exponentially increase the number of ventilators but also did so largely through domestic manufacturing. India achieved this despite limited global knowledge about the virus, the economic impact of lockdown and existing state capacity constraints. Is there any better evidence of our ability to bring transformative change?” the Prime minister further added.

On the issue of farmers’ agitation over farm laws the Prime Minister said although the government was committed to empowering farmers, none of the agitating outfits in course of the meetings had ‘come up with a specific point of disengagement’. He said none of these agitators had been able to pinpoint any specific thing in these laws that they wanted to be ‘changed’.

He wondered how in a large country like India a decision would be acceptable to ‘100 per cent people’. “In such a large country as India, is it possible to make a decision which is acceptable to 100 per cent people?” Modi asked.

The Prime Minister said he was unfazed over the prospects of any likely adverse impact of the government’s initiates on farm laws.

“The tradition has been to run the government to make your party win but my purpose is to run the Government in a way to make our country win. And due to this basic concern, I take decisions based on Gandhiji’s talisman that sees how my decisions will benefit or harm the poorest or weakest person,” the Prime Minister further said.

Hitting out at the opposition parties, Modi said whether it was GST or farm laws or new parliament building they had been engaged in ‘Rajnaitik Dhokhadandi’. He said on many of these issues the opposition made U-turns which they would have implemented if they were in power. He said political parties were making a mockery of themselves.

“Don’t you think political parties were making a mockery of themselves when their members spoke about the need for a new Parliament, previous speakers said that a new parliament was needed? But if someone tries to do it, they oppose it by making some excuses, how correct is this?” he asked.

“If you look at those who are opposing the pro-farmer reforms today, you will see the real meaning of intellectual dishonesty and rajneetik dhokhadhadi…You can see the same rajneetik dhokhadhadi when it comes to Aadhaar, GST, farm laws and even crucial matters such as arming our security forces. Promise something and make arguments for it but oppose the same thing later without any moral compunction,” the Prime Minister said.