Prime Minister Narendra Modi participates in the first Outreach Session of the G7 Summit virtually, in New Delhi.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi participates in the first Outreach Session of the G7 Summit virtually, in New Delhi.
Photo: PTI

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday urged world leaders at the G7 summit to follow a "one earth, one health" approach to effectively deal with the coronavirus pandemic. Hours later, Opposition leaders including Shiv Sena MP Priyanka Chaturvedi are using the catchphrase to hit out at the Prime Minister over the Centre's handling of the COVID-19 pandemic and more.

During a virtual address at an outreach session, the PM had sought the support of the G7 grouping to lift patent protections for COVID-19 vaccines. Highlighting India's 'whole of society' approach, he also explained the country's successful use of open-source digital tools for contact tracing and vaccine management. He conveyed India's willingness to share its experience and expertise with other developing countries.

Opposition leaders however were unconvinced. "One World, One India One Health, One Leader One government, One Failure One Vote, One Big Mistake. In the spirit of oneness," read a tweet Chaturvedi.

While some expressed confusion over what exactly the phrase meant, others including Congress leader Ruchira Chaturvedi and former Union Minister Jairam Ramesh hit out at the Prime Minister for "empty sloganeering" and "drama".

"To G7, He says— ‘One Earth, One Health’, asking for patent waiver for COVID-19 vaccines. In Supreme Court, His govt takes a completely different stance. Does not invoke compulsory licensing One stance for the world, another in India. Why this ‘anarth’?" queried Congress leader Jairam Ramesh.

While Modi's remarks do not seem to have gone down well with the Opposition, they had found support during the G7 meeting. According to reports, his remarks were echoed and supported by German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Other nations, including Australia also came out in strong support of the Indian Prime Minister's plea for a temporary waiver on COVID-19 vaccine patents.

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