PM’s go to to vaccine hubs: Anand Sharma counters Surjewala

Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service
New Delhi, November 29

Divisions in the Congress over the nature of political opposition to the Bharatiya Janata Party became even more pronounced on Sunday with veteran Anand Sharma contradicting Congress chief spokesman Randeep Singh Surjewala on the latter’s comments about Prime Minister’s visits to vaccine hubs on Saturday.

Surjewala, while backing the farmers’ protests on Saturday, had said the Prime Minister should engage the farmers instead of visiting corporate offices of vaccine manufacturers.

“मोदी जी कम्पनियों के दफ़्तर जा फ़ोटो खिंचा रहे हैं और लाखों किसान दिल्ली के सड़कों  पर कराह रहे हैं।“

“How we wish the PM stood on the land and spoke to farmers instead of flying in his jets. COVID vaccine will be discovered by researchers and scientists while the country’s food security will be ensured by farmers. The PM and the BJP will meanwhile just manage the television,” Surjewala had said on Saturday.

Former minister and senior Congress spokesperson Anand Sharma however countered the party line on the issue on Sunday saying, “Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi’s visit to Serum Institute, Bharat Biotech and Zydus Cadilla was a recognition of Indian scientists and their work to produce the vaccine for COVID-19 That alone will lift morale of frontline warriors and reassure the nation”.

Sharma said the PM’s visit was about respecting the Institutions that India has built over decades that have expertise and potential making India world’s largest vaccine manufacturer.

“Urging PM to ensure that an efficient and equitable platform is functional as the vaccine arrives,” he said.

Sharma is part of the group of 23 leaders who have sought radical changes to party organisation and a considered and deliberated view on policy issues rather than an anti Modi narrative which a section of the Congress believes is boomeranging.

Within the Congress, Rahul Gandhi is the leader of the anti PM narrative and that’s the broad party line on issues.

Sharma’s open rebuttal today of the Congress line shows some leaders May voice opinions independent of the party line on major issues in the coming days.

Sharma had recently opposed India’s decision not to join the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership trade block, even when Rahul Gandhi’s public position has been against the pact.

Sharma had called the move a step backwards.

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