India will be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by December 2021, Union Minister Prakash Javadekar said Friday even as he lashed out at Congress leader Rahul Gandhi for his criticism of Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the Covid vaccination programme.
Speaking to reporters, Javadekar also cited recent remarks of the Health Ministry to assert that the inoculation exercise in India will be completed by December this year.
The ministry has given a roadmap about producing 216 crore doses by December and how 108 crore people will be vaccinated, he said.
Lashing out at Rahul Gandhi, the minister said the kind of language the Congress leader used and the way he tried to stoke "fears" has confirmed that the "toolkit" was produced by his party.
Gandhi's choice of words like "nautanki" for the prime minister at a time when Modi is working to curb COVID-19 is part of the toolkit's script, the minister alleged, referring to a controversial document about targeting the government.
The BJP has claimed that the Congress is behind it, a charge the opposition party has rejected. It has instead blamed the BJP and sought police probe into the matter.
"It has been confirmed, and there is no need for any evidence. It is clear that the toolkit was produced by you. The kind of language you used and the way you tried to stoke confusion and fear among people is part of that politics," Javadekar said.
What Gandhi has said is an insult to the country and people, he added.
With over 20 crore doses being administered so far, India is second in the world and the vaccination is set to see a big jump from August, he said, rebutting the Congress leader's criticism about the alleged slow pace of the country's inoculation programme.
The BJP leader said Gandhi should rather be concerned about the Congress-ruled states as they have not been able lift their quota from vaccine producers.
Noting that Gandhi had stressed the importance of vaccination, he said this is what the government has been saying and working on from the beginning and cited the production of two vaccines in India.
When Covaxin was produced indigenously, Congress leaders created doubts about its safety while Modi put any such question to rest by opting for this jab, the minister said.
Gandhi had earlier asked the government to evolve a vaccine strategy for the entire population, warning of multiple waves of the virus at the current rate of vaccination.
It was time Modi to be a leader and show that he can organise vaccines for everyone, he said, accusing the prime minister of not thinking strategically.