Opposition in Assam in quarantine during pandemic: Nadda

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(Eds: Adds details) Guwahati, Jun 29 (PTI) Opposition parties in Assam were in quarantine with some in the ICU during the second wave of the pandemic, while BJP workers are working round the clock to provide relief to those in distress, the saffron partys president J P Nadda said on Tuesday.

Opposition parties emerge only during an election as 'political tourists' but after it is over, they are nowhere to be seen, Nadda claimed while addressing the Assam state BJP executive meeting virtually.

'All parties are quarantined, or they are in isolation while some have reached the ICU bed. But it is the BJP members who are reaching to those in distress under its 'Seva hi Sanghthan' (service is equivalent to organisation) policy,' he said.

Nadda urged the party's newly appointed state unit president Bhabesh Kalita, who assumed charge on Tuesday, and Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma to take up vaccination of all eligible people in the state on a 'mission mode'.

He asked Kalita to ensure that all party workers are engaged in vaccination awareness drives throughout the state and remove any hesitancy, if it still exists.

The BJP president said that it was heartening to note that 2300 vaccination centres were active in the state with 69 lakh receiving their doses and the highest 3.75 lakh people were vaccinated on a single day on June 21.

He also accused the opposition parties of doing politics over vaccination in the country when Prime Minister Narendra Modi has gone all out to ensure that vaccines were manufactured in the country.

'India is no longer a country asking for vaccines but is giving vaccines to other countries and this has been possible only due to the vision of the prime minister,' he said.

The opposition, however, went all out to stop it at every step by misinforming people and making false allegations about the government's vaccination programme though they themselves went ahead and got themselves vaccinated, the BJP chief claimed.

Earlier, only two companies were producing the vaccine but now there are 13 and by December, there will be 19 companies, he said.

'India has the largest vaccination programme in the world and has forged ahead of the United States of America, the United Kingdom, Italy and France,' he said.

Modi has made the vaccine free from all and has kept Rs 35,000 crore for the purpose, he added.

When the country faced a shortage of oxygen at the beginning of the second phase, the prime minister ensured that within a month, its production was increased from 900 metric tonnes to 9440 metric tonnes.

Nadda thanked the people of Assam for defeating the 'forces of communalism and corruption'' by putting their faith in Modi's development agenda which is being taken forward by Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma now and earlier by his predecessor Sarbananda Sonowal.

'Sarma has been the Chief Minister for only 45 days but we are happy with the initiatives he has taken. What Sonowal had started, he is taking it forward. The government works in continuity and especially when it is the same party in power, we work with more speed,' he said.

He appreciated Sarma's steps such as appointing guardian ministers for districts, anti-insurgency measures, cow protection initiatives and crackdown on cattle smuggling.

'The crackdown on the drug menace is a major initiative and this is the chief minister's biggest gift to the youths of the state', he said.

He also praised the state government for taking measures to protect the environment, declaring the two new national parks and increasing the ration amount of frontline forest workers to Rs 2000.

The BJP not only contests and wins elections but also serve people and society, he added, PTI DG SOM NN NN

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