The Congress on Wednesday hit out at the BJP over the toolkit issue, accusing the ruling party of deploying “forgery” to divert public attention from the government’s alleged failures in managing the coronavirus pandemic.
Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said the BJP does not want to answer the public over its alleged failures to provide life-saving medicines, ventilators and ICU beds during the pandemic, and thus was resorting to such tactics.
On Tuesday, the BJP had slammed the Congress over an alleged toolkit of the opposition party, saying it wants to tarnish the image of the country and Prime Minister Narendra Modi by calling the new strain of the coronavirus the “India strain” or the “Modi strain”.
Mr Surjewala told reporters on Wednesday that the document on the Covid ”toolkit” is forged, even though his party owned up to another paper pertaining to the central vista project.
“The apparent forgery and its use to divert attention and agenda-setting by the BJP has been exposed. I understand that Sambit Patra (BJP spokesperson who shared the ‘toolkit” on Twitter) will have to go to jail and he is jittery because of that. This forgery will not succeed. They are trying to reset the agenda,” Mr Surjewala told reporters.
The Congress leader also asked Mr Patra to use his degree as a doctor to save precious lives instead of “indulging in theatrics”.
He said the Congress has already filed a police complaint and if the Delhi Police does not register a case, the party may even file a private complaint before a court to get the case registered.
His party colleague and research department head Rajeev Gowda admitted that the research note about the central vista project is genuine. But he accused the BJP of “forging” the one on Covid.
“Let’s be clear. We made a research note on Central Vista for the party. It’s genuine and fact-based. I tweeted yesterday that ”COVID19 toolkit” is FORGED and is a ”MADE in BJP” product. Patra is showing metadata/author of a real document and attributing it to a FAKE,” he said on Twitter.
“The BJP ecosystem indulges in the worst form of cynical politics. Its dirty tricks department extracted a colleague’s name from our genuine Central Vista document and attributed it to its FAKE ‘toolkit’. She deactivated her SM (social media) accounts after online harassment,” Gowda said. “Take me on, not my team.”
Gowda’s reaction came after Patra alleged that a woman member in the Congress’ research department was behind the Covid ”toolkit”.
“Friends yesterday Congress wanted to know who’s the Author of the toolkit. Pls check the properties of the Paper. Author: Saumya Varma. Who’s Saumya Varma … The Evidences speak for themselves: Will Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi reply,” he asked on Twitter while sharing her pictures.
Surjewala alleged that the purpose of the BJP is to fix the agenda and divert attention from the mismanagement in handling of Covid.
“This is Modi ji’s classical conspiracy of diverting attention,” he said.
The Congress general secretary said the issue today is of faulty ventilators, a shortage of oxygen, bodies flowing in rivers, a shortage of medicines and “debasement of human life by the BJP”.
“They only want to divert, divert, divert, but, this fake agenda-setting by the fake managers of BJP will not succeed,” he said.
He also urged Patra to “go and serve in a Covid hospital and stop being jittery”.