‘At least someone in Congress understands…’: Hardeep Singh Puri’s jibe to Congress over vaccine, Central Vista

Union minister for civil aviation Hardeep Singh Puri on Friday lashed out at Congress for attacking the government over the emergency use approval given to the two coronavirus vaccines last week. He also attacked Congress over its comments on the Central Vista redevelopment plan.

Puri quoted a tweet posted by Congress leader Shama Mohammed to criticise Congress on both the issues simultaneously and said, “Glad at least someone in INC understands the importance of vaccines. Now it will be better if you also educated your party colleagues M/s Jairam & Tharoor on why vaccination is indeed important for the country rather than passing your judgment on a Hon’ble SC judgement.”

Congress leader Shama Mohammed on Tuesday had tweeted, “SC gives go ahead for Central Vista Project. It is a travesty that when the govt’s priority should have been to vaccinate every Indian as soon as possible, it prefers to splurge taxpayer money on a Rs 20,000 cr vanity project which won’t benefit the common man in the slightest!”

Also Read: Who will opt for a vaccine with question marks on its reliability: Manish Tewari

Congress had targeted the government over the approval of vaccines as well as after the Supreme Court okayed the redevelopment plan for Central Vista. Congress leaders Shashi Tharoor and Jairam Ramesh attacked the government over the approval of Bharat Biotech’s coronavirus vaccine COVAXIN.

Also Read: Serum Institute, Bharat Biotech pledge smooth Covid-19 vaccine roll-out

On December 3, Ramesh in a tweet pointed out that protocols related to Bharat Biotech’s Covid-19 vaccine were modified asking the health ministry to give reasons for clarification. He said, “Bharat Biotech is a first-rate enterprise, but it is puzzling that internationally-accepted protocols relating to phase 3 trials are being modified for Covaxin. Health Minister @drharshvardhan should clarify.”

Tharoor also said that the government was not transparent regarding the side effects of the vaccine. He shared a news clip from news agency NDTV in a tweet and said, “This certainly requires investigation & explanation by the government. Minor side effects should not put people off needed vaccinations; but transparency is essential to retain public confidence. Sunlight, it is said, is the best disinfectant!”

Bharat Biotech CEO Dr Ramesh Ella defended the COVAXIN vaccine on Monday and said, “We do 200 percent honest clinical trials and yet we receive backlash.” Ella also said the results of the Phase III trial will be released soon. Earlier on Tuesday, Dr Ella and Serum Institute of India CEO Adar Poonawalla issued a joint statement saying that both companies will work together to ensure unhindered supply of vaccines all over India as well as across the world.

Also Read: Central Vista project case of ‘misplaced priorities’, says Congress after Supreme Court nod

On Tuesday, the Supreme Court cleared the Central Vista project, which Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala termed as an exercise of implementing “misplaced priorities” by “whimsical autocrats”. “The Rs 13,450 CR Central Vista Project is not a legalistic issue but a case of ‘misplaced priorities’ of a ‘whimsical autocrat’ seeking to etch his name in the annals of history with cement & mortar,” he said. He also accused the government of not taking adequate care of defence personnel braving freezing cold in the Northern regions.

Puri highlighted that it was unnecessary of Congress to protest against a project that has been given the go-ahead by the apex court.

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