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Anand Sharma goes against Congress’ official line, welcomes PM Modi’s Covid vaccine review tour

Rajya Sabha MP and senior Congress leader Anand Sharma said Modi’s visits to three vaccine makers Saturday would lift morale and reassure the nation.

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New Delhi: Senior Congress leader Anand Sharma Sunday went against the party line and welcomed Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s three-city tour to review the Covid-19 vaccine development.

PM Modi had visited Zydus Cadila’s plant near Ahmedabad, Bharat Biotech’s facility in Hyderabad and Serum Institute of India (SII) in Pune to review the Covid-19 vaccine development work there.

Sharma, the deputy leader of the opposition in the Rajya Sabha and former Union minister, called it a move that will “lift the morale of frontline warriors and reassure the nation”.

“Prime minister Shri Narendra Modi 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 (sic),” Sharma tweeted.

“Also respecting the Institutions that India has built over decades that have expertise and potential making India worlds (sic) largest vaccine manufacturer,” he added.

However, late Sunday evening, Sharma put out a reworked tweet, saying that “lines got misplaced resulting in avoidable confusion” in the original tweet.


Also read: Congress forms panels to ‘speak in one voice’, writers of ‘leadership change’ letter find space


Congress’ official line

Sharma’s statement stood in stark contrast to the Congress party’s official line — the previous day, it had termed PM Modi’s visit a way to seek “publicity”.

In a press conference Saturday, Congress spokesperson Pawan Khera had attacked the PM’s visits, saying he should be holding meetings to strategise how the vaccine will be allocated, instead of seeking publicity.

Congress’ chief spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala too had tweeted Saturday, taking a jibe at PM Modi’s tour while farmers protest on the streets.

“Modi ji is going to company offices and getting pictures clicked, while lakhs of farmers are on the streets of Delhi,” Surjewala wrote. “Scientists will find the corona vaccine, farmers will take care of the country’s hunger, while Modi ji and the BJP will handle TV!”

Sharma’s previous dissent

Sharma’s statement against the official party line is also significant because just last week, he had hit out at those in the Congress who slammed “dissenters”, and called for “decency and decorum” to be maintained.

The former Union minister was one of the 23 leaders who had, in August this year, written a letter to interim party president Sonia Gandhi calling for a “full-time and effective leadership”.

Last week, he also defended the leaders who signed the letter, as well as those who have been calling for introspection by the party in the aftermath of the Congress’ poor showing in the Bihar assembly elections.


Also read: BJP alleges Khalistani agenda behind farmer protests, says Congress playing with fire


(This report has been updated with Anand Sharma’s clarification issued late Sunday evening)

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5 COMMENTS

  1. Anyone going against the proselytizing ” FAMILY ” who by trying to divide HINDUS wants to bring ” ROME RAJYA ” instead of “RAM RAJYA ” should be welcomed.

  2. Good, that the loyalists are finding their moorings. Some day, Randip Surjewala will also take a different stand from the official line. That is when the Italian-Indian familiy should pack up and take one way trip to Italy.

  3. The party line would have been to sit in a 5 star hotel in Goa and take a review. Many many people in the politics (can’t call them all leaders) agree with a lot of things that Modi does but are scared of going against the party line. They also feel that an any support to Modi could be construed as seeking protection from investigation for financial wrong doing which they have indulged in the past ( A GANGA SNAN).

  4. The nation awaits a split in the Congress so that a kernel of a new national opposition an emerge, while the Gandhis enjoy their vacation in Shimla..

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