PM supplied vaccine to 160 countries; Uddhav Thackeray stayed at home during pandemic: Anurag Thakur

Mumbai, Jun 20 (PTI) Union minister Anurag Thakur on Tuesday said even the world believes that 160 countries could get anti-coronavirus vaccines because of India, while Shiv Sena (UBT) chief Uddhav Thackeray was “scared” and stayed at home throughout the pandemic.

Thakur’s comment came in response to Thackeray’s barb over BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis purportedly giving credit for the vaccine development to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

“Uddhav ji was scared of the COVID-19 pandemic and remained at home. Modi ji offered leadership to society and encouragement to the scientists and vaccine-makers,” Thakur said, replying to reporters’ questions here.

“Not just the country, but the world believes that 160 countries received the vaccine against COVID-19 through the vaccine-Maitri programme of our country,” the Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting added.

A person who did not leave his home for two and a half years due to the fear of COVID-19 was ousted from power by his own party workers and people, Thakur further said, referring to Thackeray whose government in Maharashtra collapsed last June following Eknath Shinde’s rebellion.
Earlier, Maharashtra deputy Chief Minister and BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis had said that Modi made the vaccine and provided it to the world.
Thackeray, in a speech at a party event on Monday, seized on the first line of Fadnavis’s statement and asked, “If Modi ji made the vaccine, what were the scientists doing? Were they (merely) plucking grass?”

Thakur, meanwhile, also said that Thackeray was bound to lose power after he joined hands with the ideology (of the Congress and NCP) that late Bal Thackeray had always opposed, and there was no point in nursing regret.

“At least he should face the reality now,” Thakur added.

Prime minister Modi provided 220 crore vials of anti-coronavirus vaccines to the country’s people, he said, adding “because of his efforts, funds were raised and every state received vaccine stock.”

“Uddhav ji, on the other hand, was scared and confined himself to his residence. He had forgotten the people of Mumbai and Maharashtra during the period,” Thakur said.

Modi saved people from starvation as well as from the pandemic while ensuring that the Indian economy rose to the top five in the world, the minister further said.

Respect for India has grown across the world and the country has become “more secure from external attacks,” he said.

Without naming the Congress-led UPA regime, Thakur said, “Uddhav ji joined hands with the parties which were mere spectators during such attacks. They were in silent mode. The Modi government carries out surgical strike. But Uddhav ji joins hands with those who doubt the bravery of our armed forces. Uddhav ji joined hands with those who could not give bulletproof jackets (to soldiers) despite being in power for ten years.”

About Thackeray criticising the Modi government over the ongoing violence in Manipur, Thakur said, “I was in Palghar district (of Maharashtra) two days ago. During Uddhav ji’s regime two years back, religious leaders were attacked and killed in Palghar. He should be ashamed of such incidents.”