By Sravani Sarkar- - -
The repeated statements of Madhya Pradesh ex-chief minister Kamal Nath, where he termed COVID-19 as 'Indian Corona', has sparked a row, with the BJP saying that Nath has insulted the country.
The BJP has taken the biggest umbrage to Nath's statement of Friday in Bhopal where he had said 'now this (COVID-19) has become the identity of our country, leave alone mera Bharat mahan, it has become mera Bharat COVID'.
“(COVID-19) had become Indian corona, Bharatiya corona,” Nath said. “The British prime minister said that they are afraid of the Indian corona, so cancel all flights (from India). The entry of students and all those working there was banned as they will bring in Indian corona (to Britain). We are not only deceiving ourselves by hiding and suppressing (the situation), but we are also deceiving the entire world.”
Referring to these statements, Union Forest And Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar, on Saturday, said, “Kamal Nath is calling it Indian Corona, Bharatiya corona. Some called it Indian variant, but he is calling it Indian corona. He (Nath) did not stop here, he further said 'hamari pehchan, mera Bharat COVID.' His statement is circulating and it has not been denied yet. This statement that 'bharat ki pehchan, mera bharat COVID', it's an insult to India. Other Congress leaders also gave such statements about Indian variant, when WHO clarified that no country's name has been attributed to any variant.”
Javadekar also slammed the Congress for being an irresponsible opposition by spreading misinformation and panic among the people and weakening the fight against COVID-19. “I want to ask Sonia Gandhi why Congress is doing this negative politics,” Javadekar said in a statement.
Madhya Pradesh Home Minister Narottam Mishra also attacked Nath, saying that his statements had proved that he (Nath) was linked to the alleged Congress toolkit. “Few days back, we heard Arvind Kejriwal’s fake statement on Indian variant and Singapore. Kamal Nath is also calling it Indian COVID. This is sure that Kamal Nath has connections with the toolkit,” Mishra said.
On Saturday too, Nath repeated his statements. Talking to ANI in Ujjain, he said that '(COVID-19) started off as Chinese corona, but now Indian has become so great that it is Indian variant corona. The prime ministers and presidents across the world are now fearful of the Indian corona. Many countries have banned (Indian passengers), even countries like Singapore. I got to know that even admissions of Indian students were cancelled (in institutions abroad), on the grounds that they might bring in the Indian variant.”
In a press conference in Ujjain, too, Nath made similar statements and added that the 'government is not fighting COVID-19 but criticism. Media is being suppressed and criminal cases registered against them. They are still engaged in image management.”
Meanwhile, a hashtag #ArrestKamalNath was trending on Twitter to protest against the 'Indian corona' statements of Nath as well as his another alleged statement in a viral video where the ex-CM is heard saying that the 'time was good to spread fire' (in alleged context of creating an atmosphere against the government).