Rahul Gandhi's swipes today at Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the second wave of Covid and the vaccination slowdown provoked a swift and acrid fightback from the government with at least two Union Ministers hitting back at the Congress leader.
Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar said Rahul Gandhi's comments on PM Modi confirmed the "Congress toolkit" to defame the government and his colleague Dharmendra Pradhan remarked that his "mindless blabbering" was a waste of internet bandwidth.
"While the responsible citizens of India are using the precious internet bandwidth to keep the wheels of economy churning by working from their homes, the only tangible outcome of senseless, mindless and meaningless blabbering by Rahul Gandhi is the wastage of this precious resource," Mr Pradhan tweeted.
While the responsible citizens of India are using the precious internet bandwidth to keep the wheels of economy churning by working from their homes,the only tangible outcome of senseless, mindless & meaningless blabbering by @RahulGandhi is the wastage of this precious resource.— Dharmendra Pradhan (@dpradhanbjp) May 28, 2021
Rahul Gandhi, at a virtual press meet, had accused PM Modi of dropping the ball on Covid and held him responsible for the Covid spiral that plunged the country into a crisis of resources, hospitals and vaccines. He also said at the current pace of vaccination, the country was in for multiple virus waves.
"The first wave no one understood... but the second wave is the PM's responsibility. His nautanki (stunts)... His failure to fulfil his responsibilities is the reason for the second wave," the Congress MP said, adding that the PM was "trying to repair his image but it was gone".
He went on to label the Prime Minister "an event manager" who lived in a bubble.
"I directly told the PM that if India does not sort out its vaccination strategy, there will be multiple waves since the virus adapts. The Prime Minister is the head of the country. He is responsible for its well-being. The buck stops with the Prime Minister. But the Prime Minister lives in a bubble... no one talks to him because of the way he handles things. So, in effect, the ship is moving without a clue," said Mr Gandhi.
Prakash Javadekar lashed out at Mr Gandhi's use of the word "nautanki" and declared that vaccinations in India would be complete by December 2021.
"The Prime Minister is fighting Covid with the people of the country. And he uses words like nautanki, which is an insult to the nation and the people. The people have long put an end to their nautanki," said the Minister.