Smriti Irani video thanking TikTok for donating 4 lakh PPE suits gives ammo to TMC
TikTok, a Chinese app for short-form mobile videos is among 59 mobile phone apps that Indian banned this week.Updated: Jul 02, 2020 20:31 IST
Trinamool Congress (TMC) Lok Sabha member Mahua Moitra late on Wednesday night tweeted a video showing Union minister Smriti Irani thanking the Indian arm of Tik ok for donating 4,00,000 personal protection equipment (PPE) suits for frontline health workers in the fight against Covid-19.
Earlier this week, the Centre banned TikTok, a Chinese app for short-form mobile videos along with 58 others citing threat to India’s sovereignty, defence, security and public order. Moitra said the video was taken weeks before the ban and questioned the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) claim that PPE kits were provided by the PM Cares Fund.
In the video, Irani can be heard thanking Nikhil Gandhi, CEO of TikTok India and his team for collaborating with the two Union ministries of health and textiles and donating 4,00,000 PPE suits. She also says the suits met the technical specifications advised by the World Health Organisation and ministry of health. “Thank you TikTok India for putting India first,” Irani said in the video.
“Watch a Cabinet Minister boldly advertising a Chinese company weeks before it was banned for “activities prejudicial to sovereignity of India” Are we that hungry for PPE kits? Didn’t @BJP say PMCARES was paying for them?” Moitra wrote in the tweet that went viral.
Watch a Cabinet Minister boldly advertising a Chinese company weeks before it was banned for "activities prejudicial to sovereignity of India"— Mahua Moitra (@MahuaMoitra) July 1, 2020
Are we that hungry for PPE kits?
Didn’t @BJP say PMCARES was paying for them ? pic.twitter.com/axEupDDkWD
The Bengal BJP reacted by saying that not just PPE kits but even ventilators are now being made in India and these are no longer imported from China.
“TMC has faith in corruption but not in the Prime Minister. TMC is talking about the 59 banned Chinese apps such as TikTok. There was a time when PPE, testing kits, ventilators et al were imported from China. But not anymore. These are made in India now,” said BJP national secretary Rahul Sinha.
The Congress on June 28 had hit back at the BJP for raising the issue of funding of Rajiv Gandhi Foundation (RGF), alleging that the PM Cares Fund was accepting donations from Chinese firms when the armies of the two countries were engaged in a border standoff in Ladakh.
Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi questioned Prime Minister Narendra Modi on his “18 meetings” with Chinese President Xi Jinping in the last six years and asked why he has not yet called China “an aggressor.”
“What is most worrying and alarming for national security is the fact of donations received by Prime Minister Modi from the Chinese companies in his (seemingly personal) PM CARES Fund,” Singhvi added.
Over the past few days, the BJP has released details of contributions made to RGF by various state-owned companies, government departments and the Chinese embassy.
RGF is a private trust while the PM CARES Fund was set up in March this year to deal with any emergency arising due to the Covid-19 pandemic. It has already funded the purchase of around 50,000 ventilators by government hospitals across India.