The BJP on Thursday took a swipe at Rahul Gandhi for his allegation that the government was "lying" about the COVID-19 fatalities, saying he "knows nothing and speaks everything" and referred to the high number of casualties in opposition-ruled states like Maharashtra to attack the Congress leader.
BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra noted that Maharashtra, where the Congress is in the ruling alliance, has reported the highest number of deaths and that there is a "huge discrepancy" between actual deaths and what has been projected by the Rajasthan government, a Congress-ruled state.
"Rather than existing in the republic of Twitter and playing this tweet game" Gandhi should pick up the phone and speak to chief ministers of states where his party is in power, he said, alleging that the Congress leader's priority has always been to spread lies and misinformation.
"He will never get down to the ground and do any act of service. He will post one tweet daily. One tweet a day will not drive the corona away," Mr Patra said at a virtual press conference.
Rahul Gandhi should speak to his chief ministers and ask them to take proper measures, he added.
The Congress leader had on Wednesday posted a New York Times figure, which had said that the Covid tally in India may be grossly under reported.
"Numbers don't lie... GOI (government of India) does," he had said on Twitter.
Hitting back at the Congress over its leaders, including Priyanka Gandhi Vadra's recent critical statement, Mr Patra said they are the ones responsible for vaccine hesitancy and noted that chief ministers from the opposition party had even expressed their disapproval of Covaxin, an indigenously developed jab against Covid.
He also sought to know if Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi have been vaccinated or not.
Mr Patra also spoke at length about "myths and facts" on the vaccination process and accused leaders like Rahul Gandhi and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal of doing politics over the matter.
Referring to as "myths" allegations like the Centre was not doing enough to buy vaccines from abroad, not approving vaccines available globally, not doing enough to ramp up domestic production of vaccines, abdicating its responsibility to states and not taking any step to vaccinate children, he gave a point-by- point rebuttal.
The NITI Aayog, a public policy think tank of the government, had also earlier issued a statement on similar lines in which it had given a detailed reply about the measures being taken by the Centre since last year to boost its vaccination programme.