The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), which shares power with Shiv Sena and Congress in Maharashtra, on Monday, lashed out at the central government for suppressing dissent and arresting those who speak out against the government policies on COVID-19 management and vaccination. NCP Minister Nawab Malik extended the party’s support to the ‘arrest me too’ campaign after the Delhi government registered cases against 17 people for allegedly putting up posters criticising the government.
“People will question if the vaccine doses, which they would have otherwise had first, are exported to various countries. How many people will the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) arrest for raising this issue? The government’s move to suppress dissent shows its lack of courage to face criticism,” he said.
“The country is united. Let us see how many people the central government arrests,” he noted. Malik’s statement came days after Congress, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), Trinamool Congress, Communist Party of India (Marxist) CPM and other parties and citizens’ organisations have said that tough questions will be asked to the prime minister if people don’t get vaccines, medicines and oxygen. Congress Member of the Parliament (MP) Jairam Ramesh had asked, “Putting up critical posters against the PM is now a crime? Is India run by the Modi Penal Code now?”
Further, Malik said PM Narendra Modi at the World Economic Forum Davos Dialogue, in January, claimed India has become a vaccine guru. An Indian diplomat at the United Nations (UN) claimed how the government cared more about the rest of the world than its own citizens. “Questions are being asked when the vaccine doses are not available in the country,” he said.
Malik said the posters asked why did you send our children’s vaccines abroad? But some BJP leaders are stating that the vaccine for children has not yet been produced in India.