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Jabs and jibes on TV at PM Modi and Opposition after he takes the Covid shot

A quick take on what prime time TV news talked about.

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New Delhi: Prime time Monday was all about the second phase of the Covid-19 vaccine drive in India starting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “jab” but some news channels found time to discuss Tamil Nadu politics as well.

Commenting on PM Modi taking Bharat Biotech’s coronavirus vaccine Covaxin at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Delhi, NewsX‘s Uday Pratap Singh called it an important day.

Former AIIMS director Dr M.C. Misra said the PM had sent out a “huge message” that Covaxin is “safe” and “efficacious”.

Singh asked if the prime minister’s jab would give “stimulus to the vaccination drive” after the relatively slow pace of the first vaccine drive.

Also read:Modi, Naidu, Pawar, Nitish — India’s political leaders get vaccinated as phase 2 begins

Dr D.K.Gupta, Chairman and Managing Director of Felix Hospital, said, “I have taken the vaccine. I’m going to take a second dose also. This is a very safe vaccine. There are only slight side effects which can be local or (with a) little pain or swelling… or there can be mild headache, pain, body ache or fever…”

On a question about allergies, AIIMS neurologist Dr M. Tripathi said, “My own sister who has bronchospasm has taken the vaccine… if the allergy is mild I don’t think this should be an issue.”


On Mirror Now, Tanvi Shukla discussed the upcoming Tamil Nadu assembly elections.

“The two key parties — AIADMK and DMK — are in a huddle within their own camps over seat sharing with their allies,” she said. She was referring to the BJP-AIADMK and Congress-DMK alliances.

Journalist T.S. Sudhir said seat-sharing will only matter in “winnable seats”.

AIADMK spokesperson Kovai Sathyan said, “As a party driving the coalition, it is our responsibility to ensure that the aspirations of our allies are fulfilled.”

When Shukla said there are suggestions that the BJP wants 40-50 seats, BJP spokesperson Khushbu Sundar replied, “The numbers will be out in a day or two… BJP’s going to get what they rightly deserve.”

Times Now‘s Padmaja Joshi also discussed PM Modi taking the Covid-19 vaccine, saying, “…as all great things in our country, this also had its fair share of doubters, cribbers and doomsday prophets.”

Trinamool Congress spokesperson Riju Dutta suggested, “The Centre should respect the federal structure. (There should be) more involvement of the states because the states are the implementing authority.”

Political analyst Syed Asad Abbas was also less than impressed by the PM’s jab, “First and foremost, no mask-wearing Modi. Why? (This was a) a photo-shoot — Assam ka gamcha pehenthe hai. Why? Assam is a poll-bound state…”

On the mask issue, BJP spokesperson R.P. Singh said PM Modi wore a mask when entering the hospital and the people in the room were already vaccinated and wearing masks. He added that “votes don’t come through gamchas”.

On Aaj Tak anchor Shweta Singh reached the international border to report on the ceasefire agreement between India and Pakistan at the Line of Control (LoC). For prime time, however, Singh gave a run down of day 1 of the second phase of the vaccine drive.

According to her, the PM’s message on the vaccine was loud and clear — that we must trust the homegrown Covaxin.

“There had been debates about this earlier but the PM sealed this with a vaccine,” Singh said and then turned her attention to the Opposition’s criticism that Modi had politicised the inoculation process.

“The PM was administered the vaccine, but the Opposition felt the pain and started commenting… those raising questions said that the gamucha was from Assam, the nurses were from Puducherry, and Kerala and the vaccine is homegrown. These are all signs of the upcoming election season,” Singh said.

“After the PM’s vaccination, today, there will be a break on the myths spread around the corona vaccine and the vaccination programme with get a boost,” said ABP anchor Rubika Liyaquat.

Also read:Modi image on Covid vaccination certificate is ‘self-projection, politics’, some parties cry


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