India/Former Madhya Pradesh CM Kamal Nath kicked up a political row with his "Bhartiya corona" remark, inviting sharp reactions from the BJP, which slammed Congress for "insulting the nation.
" The row was triggered after Madhya Pradesh BJP media in-charge Lokendra Parashar uploaded a video clip on his Twitter handle, in which Nath was heard saying: "This started as China ka corona. Now India became so great that it has become the 'Indian corona' of the world. Britain's Prime Minister said they are afraid of Indian corona, and shut down all the flights. Students, who were doing jobs there, have been denied entry because of the fear that they will bring it with them. This is now our nation's identity. Not to talk of 'Mera Bharat Mahan', it has now become Mera Bharat Covid. Suppressing or hiding this won't do."
in another video clip, Nath is also heard asking party workers to provoke farmers and tell them what the government is doing ("Yeh aag lagane ka mauka hai").
While BJP supporters condemned his remarks on Twitter with the hashtag #ArrestKamalnath, condemning Nath's remarks, Parashar said, "Kamal Nath, you have abused India...did not expect you will stoop so low in your slavery to the foreigners (a jibe at Sonia Gandhis' leadership). You should have been ashamed of saying Indian corona. Why do you fail to speak on China and Italy."
BJP has repeatedly attacked Congress on Sonia's Italian origin and Rahul Gandhis' visit to the Communist China.
Parashar also challenged the Congress to get the video probed as some called the video clip in which he is provoking farmers as fake.
Nath later clarified that the BJP is not showing the full video. "Why are they releasing a five second video footage. They will not tell that. But they are doing politics on it," he said. Nath also slammed the central government saying "they are not fighting Covid but criticism."
"They're busy in image management, not Covid management. Yesterday, I asked for info on bodies that arrived at crematoriums. They're lying to all and Madhya Pradesh is an example of it," Nath said.
Facing a consistent campaign from Congress against the Government's handling of the pandemic, particularly its vaccination strategy, BJP went into a campaign mode not only to slam the former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister but also to question the Congress commitment to the cause.
Union Minister Prakash Javadekar in Delhi hit out at Nath for linking a coronavirus variant with India and latched on to his remarks to accuse the Congress of making frequent statements to "insult" the country and weaken its fight against Covid-19.
He ruled that Nath used the term "Indian corona" even as the World Health Organization (WHO) has already clarified that any variant is not named after any country.
Javadekar said, "He (Nath) did not stop there and said 'hamari pahchan mera Bharat Covid'... This is an insult to India. Many Congress leaders are making such statements. Sonia Gandhi should tell as to why the Congress is doing such negative politics and why has she not condemned Kamal Nath's remarks."
Drawing a parallel between Nath and Delhi Chief Minister of AAP Arvind Kejriwal, Madya Pradesh Home Minister Narottam Mishra said, "A 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 a connection with the toolkit."