Congress Seeks Minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar’s Apology Over Tweet On Foreign Covid Vaccines


Congress Seeks Minister's Apology Over Tweet On Foreign Covid Vaccines

Rajeev Chandrasekhar mentioned Pfizer tried to “bully” Centre and Congress “trio” pushed for international vaccines.

New Delhi:

The Congress on Sunday accused Union minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar of distorting info and indulging in “false propaganda” by alleging that the leaders of the opposition get together have been pushing the case of international vaccines after the COVID-19 pandemic broke out and demanded his apology.

The Congress additionally wrote to Twitter towards Mr Chandrasekhar’s “false propaganda” and to get his tweet blaming the get together leaders eliminated, whereas in search of motion towards the minister.

All India Congress Committee (AICC) normal secretary, communications, Jairam Ramesh wrote to Chandrasekhar, saying his recommendations that the opposition get together leaders tried to “bully” the federal government into giving its approval to sure international vaccines was “full falsehood”.

“We can perceive that for a regime constructed and sustained by propaganda, why you’ll really feel compelled to make such a distorted and malicious assertion. Thus, on the deserves of your declare, there may be little to say apart from it’s full falsehood. At no level did any of the senior leaders that you simply named make any remark or statement on the indemnity clause,” the Congress chief wrote to the minister.

“We name on you to apologise, make clear and take down the tweet instantly, in any other case we can be constrained to pursue authorized motion. Your actions are unacceptable and also you have to be held accountable for spreading false and deceptive info,” he mentioned.

The Union minister of State for Information Technology had, in a tweet on January 20, mentioned: “Just to remind all Indians that Pfizer tried to bully Govt of India into accepting situations of indemnity.” “And Cong trio of Rahul, Chidambaram and Jairam Ramesh saved pushing case of international vaccines throughout Covid,” he had mentioned.

Mr Chandrasekhar had additionally shared a video on Twitter of Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla being requested some crucial questions by reporters in Davos on the corporate’s anti-Covid vaccine.

Mr Ramesh, who’s the chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Science and Technology, Environment, Forests, and Climate Change, identified in his letter to the minister {that a} assembly of the committee was held on June 23, 2021 on vaccine growth for Covid and genetic sequencing of the coronavirus and its variants to debate Indian advances in vaccine manufacturing, that are documented occasions, and mentioned he ought to educate himself on the difficulty earlier than making “malicious and uninformed statements”.

“During the second wave of the pandemic, when India reeled below the disaster, when individuals, together with your supporters, tagged their authorities representatives and begged for assist, what did your authorities do? Families misplaced family members, hospitals have been stuffed to capability and the nation was in chaos. Your authorities’s dealing with of the disaster grew to become a cautionary story that got here at an important value to the individuals of India,” he mentioned.

“Furthermore, at a time when your authorities was in panic mode, it was the Indian National Congress which stepped up and supplied to pay for the practice tickets of migrant employees, who have been stranded and in dire want of help,” Mr Ramesh mentioned.

The former Union minister added that in a democracy, particularly at instances of disaster, the federal government should work with the opposition and never flip each situation into a degree of false propaganda or point-scoring.

The opposition has a constitutional proper to query the executive delays surrounding the vaccination drive, vaccine procurement, choice and distribution, “which is what we did basically phrases and what we stand behind”, he mentioned.

“But to counsel that the leaders requested for relaxations of essential safeguards is an entire distortion and misrepresentation of the truth,” the Congress chief mentioned.

“Your publish undermines probably the most primary ideas of democracy and equity. It seeks to absolve your authorities of any duty for its mishandling of the Covid disaster and the resultant lack of lives, to say nothing of the financial devastation.

“We additionally discover it deeply regarding {that a} minister of the federal government of India would make such false and baseless accusations with none proof to again them up. Such actions are anticipated of on-line trolls, not of ministers of the federal government who’re purported to be held to a better normal of conduct,” he added.

Congress’s social media head Supriya Shrinate has written to Twitter, alleging that Mr Chandrasekhar is circulating “false and harmful propaganda”.

“The tweet in query is harmful as a result of it seeks to current a manufactured, distorted narrative of the political opposition from the time of the pandemic. Not solely does it violate Twitter’s group tips, however such overtly false claims from a minister of the Union authorities have an effect on correct reporting, mirror a tradition of intimidation to push a view and are insensitive to the quite a few households who misplaced family members in the course of the pandemic,” she mentioned in her letter to the microblogging web site.

Ms Shrinate mentioned because the chairperson of the Congress’s social media division, it’s her obligation to make sure that no social media platform is used as a instrument to permit such false and malicious reporting.

“The tweet by the minister not solely tarnished the status of our leaders, but additionally undermined the democratic course of, the place the opposition’s views are introduced falsely, with a deliberate goal to create confusion, doubt, and animosity amongst most of the people, and the falsehood is then amplified by platforms reminiscent of Twitter.

“We request you to mark this content material as deceptive and false and take rapid steps to take down the identical. We additionally request you to take acceptable motion towards the person who posted the tweet, which clearly violates your personal group tips,” the Congress chief wrote to Twitter.

“Let’s hope Twitter summons braveness to take corrective motion,” Mr Ramesh wrote on the positioning whereas sharing Ms Shrinate’s letter.

Ms Shrinate mentioned false and deceptive info can have extreme penalties on the general public and Congress shall pursue extra authorized cures on this regard.

“We hope you’re taking acceptable motion on this regard and stay up for your immediate response,” she added.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV employees and is printed from a syndicated feed.)

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