'It is the truth': Congress' Kamal Nath hits back at Centre after criticism over his 'Bharat Mahan' comments

Updated on May 29, 2021 03:46 PM IST

Kamal Nath was booked on March 24 for allegedly creating panic and maligning the image of India internationally by referring to the B.1.617 variant of Covid-19 as the "Indian variant".

Madhya Pradesh Congress Committee president Kamal Nath.(HT)
Madhya Pradesh Congress Committee president Kamal Nath.(HT)
By | Written by Shivani Kumar | Edited by Avik Roy, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

Senior Congress leader Kamal Nath on Saturday hit out at the Centre over accusations of politicising the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) as he questioned the Narendra Modi-led government why it is not revealing death records from crematoriums, swamped during the second wave of the pandemic.

"If I ask for data, they file an FIR. When I say 'Bharat Mahan' and that we were proud to say it but now the situation has hit 'Bharat Mahan', they call me traitor; several bodies reached crematoria and their records are available. They should reveal it, what's the difficulty?" asked the former chief minister of Madhya Pradesh, according to news agency ANI. "When I ask for this, they say I'm doing politics," he also said, adding, "When I speak of vaccines and ask for information regarding who all were administered the doses, what is wrong in it?"

"They say I am doing politics over corpses. This isn't a criticism, it is the truth," he further said.

President of Madhya Pradesh Congress Committee, Kamal Nath was booked on March 24 for allegedly creating panic and maligning the image of India internationally by referring to the B.1.617 variant of Covid-19 as the "Indian variant" and claiming that it was responsible for the second wave of the pandemic. The case was registered on the complaint of the medical education department minister, Vishwas Sarang, and other BJP leaders.

On Friday as well, Kamal Nath stoked another controversy as he said that India is not a great but "infamous country" as he criticised the Centre over its handling of the Covid-19 pandemic. "Mera Bharat mahan nahi hai, badnam hai (My country is not great but infamous). The whole world is looking at the worst condition of Covid-19 in India," said the Congress veteran.

He also alleged Indian living abroad are facing discrimination due to the mishandling of the crisis in the country. "A person told me that the people in New York are afraid of sitting in taxis driven by Indians," he also claimed.

The comments evoked sharp reactions from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) as the Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan called for his resignation. “Kamal Nath has lost his mental balance and he has no right to call himself a citizen of India. AICC president Sonia Gandhi should sack him from the party,” the chief minister said.

India has been battling the deadly second wave of Covid-19 since the last two weeks of April. The number of daily cases fatalities has now dipped below record levels; however, the concerns remain as the daily number of infections is hovering above 100,000.

On Saturday, daily cases fell to the lowest in 45 days as 1,73,790 found to be positive of Covid-19 over the last 24 hours. The death toll surged to 322,512 after 3,617 fatalities.

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