After the Centre's open rebuke for Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal over his tweet on a "Singapore strain", the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) raged at the ruling BJP saying it "is worried about Singapore while Mr Kejriwal is worried about children".
Singapore formally objected to the Delhi Chief Minister's tweet on a "new Singapore variant" that is "very harmful to children", the central government said, adding that the Indian envoy told the country Mr Kejrwal had "no competence" on Covid variants.
"Irresponsible comments from those who should know better can damage long-standing partnerships. So, let me clarify - Delhi CM does not speak for India," Foreign Minister S Jaishankar tweeted this morning, publicly snubbing Mr Kejriwal.
However, irresponsible comments from those who should know better can damage long-standing partnerships.— Dr. S. Jaishankar (@DrSJaishankar) May 19, 2021
So, let me clarify- Delhi CM does not speak for India.
"The BJP has started really crass politics. The kind of reaction that has come out, makes it clear that Mr Kejriwal is worried about children but BJP is worried about Singapore. They will not get children's vaccine but they will worry about Singapore, said Delhi's Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia.
"To boost their image, they exported our children's vaccine...just to put up posters. The Centre and BJP are welcome to their global image; we will worry about our children."
Mr Sisodia said after the UK variant emerged, the government failed to take precautions. "Today again doctors and scientists are warning about a danger to children and it has even been said by the Supreme Court that children are at risk in the next wave. But these people just don't get it. The issue is not Singapore, the issue is children," he said.
"Ask any parents whether they are worried about Singapore or their children".
The row erupted after Mr Kejriwal tweeted: "The new form of Corona that came to Singapore is said to be extremely dangerous for children, in India it may come as a third wave. My appeal to the central government: 1. Air services with Singapore to be cancelled with immediate effect 2. Vaccine options should be worked out for children too."
Singapore rebutted him sharply in a statement: "There is no truth in the assertion that there is a new COVID strain in Singapore. Phylogenetic testing has shown that the B.1.617.2 variant is the prevalent strain in many of the COVID cases, including in children, in recent weeks in Singapore."
Singapore's Foreign Affairs Minister Vivian Balakrishnan also tweeted: "Politicians should stick to facts! There is no "Singapore variant."