Facing Adani heat, Modi lobs vaccine barbs at Opposition

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By Our Special Correspondent

New Delhi, February 9: Opposition in the Rajya sabha denied Prime Minister Narendra Modi the comfort of an orderly House to deliver his speech in reply to the debate on the motion of thanks to President Droupadi Murmu’s address to the joint session of Parliament. With the Opposition raising the decibels on ‘Modi-Adani bhai-bhai’ slogan shouting, the prime minister sought to turn the table by charging that protesting leaders had ‘lobbied’ for foreign-made vaccines.

The Opposition trooped into the well of the House from the start of the reply by the prime minister in a coordinated effort to drown the speech in the din. The Lok Sabha on Wednesday had expunged all references to the allegations of a business tycoon with the prime minister. The Opposition sought to make up for the possibility of the House again removing all references to the allegations hit on with ‘Modi-Adani bha-bhai’ sloganeering.

“desh dekh raha hai ek akela sab par bhari pad raha hai…naare lagaane ke liye bhi badal badal kar aa rahe haen (the country is seeing that one is coming on top of all…they are changing faces even to raise slogans),” Modi said at the end of the reply. He claimed that he had been walking on the path of service to the nation, while the Opposition was seeking to make political gains.

However, the Opposition kept up the attack on Modi with non-stop sloganeering, sticking with the crony-capitalism plank against the prime minister. Modi has not responded to the charges, neither in his reply in the Lok Sabha nor in the Rajya Sabha. His ministerial colleagues have, however, taken on the Opposition in their efforts to counter-attack.

Modi sought to turn the table on the Opposition amid the relentless sloganeering, as he levelled the barbs of “vaccine lobbying”. “There were attempts to pressurize us to approve the foreign made vaccines. Statements were being made and columns written in the newspapers. Our scientists were being discredited by a coordinated campaign to lobby for the foreign made vaccines,” said Modi in an apparent reference to the global fury against the Pfizer vaccine against Covid-19, which allegedly has led to several adverse reactions across the world, while its CEO was hackled by Rebel News reporters in Davos during the World Economic Forum for hiding the facts about the vaccines.

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