Congress, BJP fight as controversy over usage of 'Indian variant' grows

Kamal Nath takes a jibe at Prime Minister Modi, and Prakash Javadekar retorts
Last Updated : 22 May 2021, 10:27 IST

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The Narendra Modi government has asked all social media platforms to remove any content that refers to the ‘Indian variant’ of the coronavirus, triggering a war of words with the opposition Congress.

In a letter to all social media platforms, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology said it had come to the knowledge that a “false statement” was being circulated online implying that an ‘Indian variant’ of coronavirus is spreading across the country.

“WHO has not associated the term ‘Indian Variant’ with the B.1.617 variant of the coronavirus in any of its reports,” the letter said and asked social media platforms to remove “all the content that names, refers to, or implies ‘Indian variant’ of coronavirus from your platform immediately.”

Congress leader and former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath took a jibe at Prime Minister Modi, saying he is “afraid of this Covid variant”.

“It started with Chinese corona. Now, it’s the Indian variant of coronavirus. Today, India’s President and Prime Minister Modi are afraid of this Covid variant. What toolkit is this? Our scientists are calling it the Indian variant. Only BJP advisers are not accepting it,” Kamal Nath said.

He said that India is now identified with the new variant of the coronavirus that has prompted foreign countries such as Britain to suspend flights and bar entry of Indians.

Hitting back at the Nath, senior BJP leader Prakash Javadekar said the Congress is not only insulting the country but also weakening the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Such statements by Congress leaders are creating fear and confusion among the people. This is not the role of constructive opposition. Congress is now resorting to negative politics. Sonia Gandhi should explain, why is Congress resorting to negative politics,” Javadekar said.

BJP IT Cell chief Amit Malviya said the term ‘Indian variant’ existed only in the Congress toolkit and nowhere else.

Published 22 May 2021, 10:27 IST

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