New Delhi [India], May 16 (ANI): When the Covid vaccination drive began in the country in January, the Congress did not approve of the vaccines, but now the party is concerned about the vaccination of children, said Bharatiya Janata Party MP Meenakshi Lekhi on Sunday.
"When the vaccination drive started in India in January, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel said the vaccines are not safe and several other Congress leaders criticised the vaccines. They did not approve of vaccine the till January. Now these people are worried about their children," Lekhi told ANI.
Lekhi's remarks came after Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and several other Congress leaders replaced their profile picture on social media with a poster which read in Hindi, "Modi ji, why did you send our children's vaccines abroad?"
"Congress did not care about the people aged 45 and above. Most of the people who died of COVID were people aged 45 and above. Congress mislead these people," the BJP MP said.
Lekhi accused Congress of supporting the hoarders and black marketers.
Hitting out at Congress, she said, "These people have always supported hoarders and black marketers. Congress has just betrayed the country so far."
Lekhi said the vaccines were sent to foreign countries on a contract basis.
"Covishield has been manufactured in India but was developed in a foreign country. According to the licensing policy, we had to send them 30-40 per cent of the manufactured vaccines," she said.
Earlier in the day, at least 21 people were arrested in the national capital under sections of the Defacement of Public Property Act for putting up the posters reading "Modi ji, Why did you send our children's vaccines abroad?" in different parts of the city.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi tweeted a photo of the poster on Sunday with the caption, "Arrest me too".
At a virtual press conference earlier in the day, Congress leader Pawan Khera said, "On behalf of the lakhs and lakhs of people who died, we ask you (Centre) Where is my vaccine? Why did you sell abroad the vaccine that belongs to me, my family and my children?"
" Mr Modi, I dare you to arrest me," he added.
The country is currently in the middle of a devastating second COVID-19 wave and is facing a massive shortage of vaccines. Over the last few days, inoculation centres across states have closed and state governments have floated global tenders to meet the shortages.
Leaders of the opposition have repeatedly hit out at the Centre's management of COVID-19 vaccination in the country, with many insisting that the Centre's new 'liberated' vaccination policy be revised. (ANI)