Union minister launches ‘Bhabhiji’ papad, says will help drive away Covid-19
In the video, Meghwal, who is the minister of state (MoS) for water resources, river development and Ganga rejuvenation and Parliamentary Affairs and also the sitting Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Member of Parliament (MP) from Bikaner, Rajasthan, is seen promoting a packet of ‘Bhabhiji’ brand of poppadam.Updated: Jul 24, 2020, 14:42 IST
New Delhi: Union Minister Arjun Ram Meghwal drew all-round flak on Friday after he was seen promoting a brand of papad, or poppadom, and claiming that it has all the ingredients that could help create antibodies to combat the raging coronavirus disease (Covid-19) outbreak.
In the video, Meghwal, who is the minister of state (MoS) for water resources, river development and Ganga rejuvenation and Parliamentary Affairs and also the sitting Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Member of Parliament (MP) from Bikaner, Rajasthan, is seen promoting a packet of ‘Bhabhiji’ brand of poppadam.
A video of the launch surfaced on Friday and quickly went viral on social media.
“My fellow countrymen, under the Atma Nirbhar Bharat campaign, a papad manufacturer has brought out a brand named Bhabhiji that helps in developing antibodies needed to fight Covid-19. This papad will be helpful in our fight against the viral outbreak,” the minister can be heard saying in the video clip.
A minister putting out hearsay information on social media evoked both strong and bemused reactions from the public and also his political rivals.
“Fight against Covid-19 update: US govt: We are developing a vaccine. UK govt: We are in stage-III of clinical trials. Indian govt: Ye lo Bhabhiji papad. It will help fight corona,” one person tweeted.
Another person tweeted that it seemed the government has found an alternative to the Covid-19 vaccine. “Why spend millions of dollars on vaccine development, when you can sit at home and eat papad to protect yourself from Covid-19? Post-script: The joke is on us 1.3 billion Indians.”
Political opponents and the critics of the Narendra Modi-led government, too, seized on the opportunity and took a dig at the minister’s bizarre claims.
Lawyer Prashant Bhushan tweeted: “Union Minister Arjun Ram Meghwal has launched a papad brand amid the Covid-19 pandemic claiming it contains some ingredients that will help develop antibodies against the novel coronavirus disease. Ministers, (Baba) Ramdev all trying to profit from Covid-19 by peddling bogus cures.”
The West Bengal unit of the Indian Youth Congress (IYC) also hit out at the minister.
“Breaking News: Corona vaccine invented. Union Minister Arjun Ram Meghwal has launched a brand of papad, says, ‘it can help develop antibodies against Covid-19’,” the IYC’s West Bengal unit tweeted.