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  4. 'WHO ka data galat, Congress ka beta galat': BJP's scathing attack on Rahul Gandhi | Watch Video

'WHO ka data galat, Congress ka beta galat': BJP's scathing attack on Rahul Gandhi | Watch Video

Rahul Gandhi had earlier attacked the government over a WHO report which claimed there were 4.7 million Covid deaths in India, saying "science does not lie, Prime Minister Narendra Modi does".

Paras Bisht Edited by: Paras Bisht @ParasBisht15 New Delhi Updated on: May 06, 2022 15:49 IST

Highlights

  • Rahul Gandhi doing politics over COVID-19 deaths, says BJP
  • BJP also said WHO's methodology to calculate deaths in India due to Covid is 'flawed'
  • Gandhi has tried repeatedly to lower PM Modi's image since 2014, BJP alleged

The BJP on Friday accused Congress leader Rahul Gandhi of doing politics over COVID-19 deaths, alleging that the WHO's data and Congress' "beta" (son) are wrong. At a press conference, BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra said the World Health Organisation's (WHO) methodology to calculate estimated deaths in India due to the virus is "flawed" and the Indian government had conveyed its objections to the organisation. 

 
Gandhi has tried repeatedly to lower Prime Minister Narendra Modi's image since 2014 and has in the process lowered India's image, Patra said. India has a robust mechanism for birth and death registration, he added. "The WHO's data and the Congress' beta are wrong," he alleged.

Also Read | Ahead of Gujarat polls, Rahul Gandhi asks Hardik Patel to continue in Congress: Sources

Attacking the Centre over the WHO's estimation that India had 4.7 million (47 lakh) Covid-related deaths, the Congress on Friday reiterated its demand that a commission be formed with members from all parties to ascertain the number of fatalities. It also said that Rs 4 lakh compensation be paid to families of all the victims. Several Congress leaders, including former president Rahul Gandhi, spoke on the issue, accusing the government of "under-reporting" Covid deaths and asking if it was a way to "escape" paying compensation to the families of the deceased. Gandhi said in a Twitter post, "47 lakh Indians died due to the Covid pandemic. NOT 4.8 lakh as claimed by the Govt. Science doesn't LIE. Modi does". "Respect families who've lost loved ones. Support them with the mandated ?4 lakh compensation," he added. 

The WHO on Thursday stated that 14.9 million people were killed either by COVID-19 directly or due to the pandemic's impact on health systems and society. According to the report, there were 4.7 million Covid deaths in India, which is 10 times the official figure and almost a third of Covid deaths globally. During the Covid tragedy, said Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, when crores of people were pleading for oxygen, medicines and hospital beds for their families, the government was focussing on "juggling" figures. "The people of the country should know what the truth is," she said in a tweet in Hindi.

Congress spokesperson Gourav Vallabh added that the Modi government has let India down on the world stage once again. He asserted that a Covid commission is long overdue and asked "when the government will come out of its slumber". "When will the Modi government respect the deceased by paying Rs 4 lakh COVID compensation," he asked at a press conference at the AICC headquarters here. "The mismanagement of the Covid pandemic by the BJP government is not hidden from anyone. The apathetic attitude has been evident all along. The nation saw people gasping for oxygen during the second wave. The world saw the Modi management style when thousands of bodies were floating in the Ganga," Vallabh said. While the Modi government has been "chest thumping" over its Covid management, the reality is far harsher than what the Centre wants us to believe, he said. "A big expose by the WHO has exposed the death tolls in India due to Covid between 1st January 2020 and 31st December 2021. As per government data, there has been only 5.24 lakh deaths due to COVID-19 in India so far," he said, pointing to the figures in the WHO report.

The government must accept its "mismanagement" of the pandemic, Vallabh said, posing a series of questions. "When the BJP claims of putting India on the world stage, is this the way we Indians want to see our country being mentioned on the world stage?" the Congress spokesperson asked. "Is the government's under-reporting of COVID deaths data a way to escape paying the COVID compensation to the families of the deceased?" Vallabh said the government must heed the demand the party has been making for the last two years, that a Covid commission be formed immediately with members from all parties to analyse the deaths that happened due to unavailability of oxygen, broken supply chain in case of vaccines and medicines and plan for better management during such pandemics. "The government must immediately pay Rs 4 lakh to the families of the people who have died due to COVID. If it can't provide medical care and facilities... this is the least the Modi government can do to pay its respects," he said. The government has issued a strong objection to the WHO numbers, saying the validity and robustness of the models used and methodology of data collection are questionable. 

Also Read | Rahul Gandhi denied entry to Hyderabad's Osmania University, Congress alleges KCR role

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