Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh): Days after the BJP alleged "Congress toolkit" referred to the new mutant of coronavirus as "Indian variant", former Chief Minister and Congress leader Kamal Nath launched a scathing attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi saying that he is afraid of "Indian variant" of COVID-19.
The Leader of Opposition in Madhya Pradesh Assembly claimed that over one lakh people died in the state during the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. "It started with Chinese corona. Now it's Indian variant corona.
The Prime Minister and President are afraid of the Indian variant. A country like Singapore has banned us. Somebody told me that a student who got admission to a college there, his admission was cancelled. They told him that he was coming from India and might bring the Indian variant with him," the former chief minister told ANI.
When asked about the BJP allegations on "Congress toolkit", referring to the new mutant as "Indian variant", Kamal Nath said: "What toolkit is this? Our scientists are calling it the Indian variant. Only BJP advisers are not accepting it."
The Government of India has clarified that the World Health Organization (WHO) has not associated the term "Indian Variant" with the B.1.617 variant of the coronavirus in its 32-page document. In fact, the word "Indian" has not been used in its report on the matter, the government had said.
Earlier on May 12, BJP's spokesperson Sambit Patra alleged that Congress is trying to defame the Government of India through a toolkit. He also alleged that the toolkit has instructions for social media volunteers of Congress to call the new COVID-19 mutant "Indian strain" or "Modi strain" against the World Health Organization (WHO)'s instructions.
Kamal Nath said that the state government's records over COVID-19 deaths are fake. "The state government's record is fake. Lakhs of people have died due to COVID. According to my assessment, over 1 lakh people have died in Bhopal and other regions. The exact idea of the deaths can be received by assessing the number of death certificates issued during this period and how many last rites were performed," he said.
"Around 80 per cent of the total deaths are due to COVID. But they'll deny them of being COVID deaths saying there is no proof. Who are they fooling with this, COVID won't go by lying," Nath said.
Asked about a pen-drive related to the 'honey trap case', the Congress leader said, "Many people have the pen-drive of honeytrap case, many media people also have it. It was first on pen-drive, the matter went to court much later."
Kamal Nath drew ire for his remarks mentioning "Indian variant" with Madhya Pradesh Home Minister and BJP leader Narottam Mishra demanded Governor Anandiben Patel to register a case against him for "defaming" the country.
"I am shocked and sad to hear the comment of Leader of Opposition (Kamal Nath). A few days back, first Arvind Kejriwal talked about the 'Indian variant' and then Kamal Nath is also calling it 'Indian variant'. This is sure that Kamal Nath has a connection with the toolkit," he said.
"He made an accusation that more than 1 lakh people have died due to COVID-19 in Madhya Pradesh. I demand the Governor to register a case against him in this matter. He is trying to defame the country and state," said Mishra.
He demanded proof of claim for Kamal Nath on COVID-19 deaths in Madhya Pradesh. "If the Congress leader has any proof then he should table it in front of us otherwise he should resign. If he will prove it (that more than 1 lakh people have died due to coronavirus in Madhya Pradesh) then I will resign," Mishra said.
On the 'honey trap case' issue, BJP state unit president VD Sharma said Nath's statement is a violation of his oath as a Chief Minister.
"A person who is an ex-CM has committed a crime. His statement is a clear violation of his oath as the CM and oath to secrecy. How did he get hold of the CD and if something was brought to his knowledge as the CM, isn't this statement a violation of that oath?" questioned Sharma.