BJP leader and Rajya Sabha MP Subramanian Swamy on Wednesday hit out at the Centre over its handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, urging Prime Minister Narendra Modi to hand over the "conduct of this war" to Union Minister Nitin Gadkari. Echoing recent reports, the lawmaker contended that a third wave that targeted children might soon create fresh panic in the country.
"India will survive Coronavirus Pandemic as it did Islamic invaders and British Imperialists. We could face one more wave that targets children unless strict precautions now are taken. Modi should therefore delegate the conduct of this war to Gadkari," he tweeted.
Responding to follow-up remarks, Swamy noted that this was not a critique of Narendra Modi and that the "PMO is a department not the Prime Minister himself". Delegating, he added, was not a sign of being incapable.
But why Nitin Gadkari? "Because dealing with COVID-19 needs an infrastructure framework in which aspect Gadkari has proved his ability," Swamy explained. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, he added was "another very capable Minister". However the fact that he already had a massive portfolio to contend with made him ineligible.
And while some continue to call for Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan's removal, the Rajya Sabha MP has a different take on things. "Harsh Vardhan has not been allowed free hand. But he is too polite to assert his authority. With Gadkari he will bloom," he added.