There is no ground to the allegations levelled by Rajeev Chandrashekhar: Congress

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The Congress party reacted sharply to the allegation of Union Minister Rajeev Chandrashekhar that the grand old party leaders were pushing the centre to give approval to foreign vaccines when Coronavirus wave was at its peak during the second wave, the party leader said these allegations are baseless.

Rajeev Chandrashekhar shared a video of Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla avoiding questions of reporters in Switzerland during the World Economic Forum meeting on his Twitter account.

The minister said, “Just to remind all Indians, that Pfizer tried to bully Govt of India into accepting conditions of indemity…And Cong trio of Rahul, Chidamabaram n Jairam Ramesh kept pushing case of foreign vaccines during Covid (sic).”

In April 2021, when the country was in the midst of the second and most severe phase of the Covid-19 outbreak, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, requesting that he expedite the approval of vaccine candidates other than the Serum Institute’s Covishield and Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin.

While Pfizer had gained indemnity in numerous countries, like the United Kingdom and the United States, where their vaccines were already in use, India refused to indemnify any of the vaccine producers, including Bharat Biotech and Serum Institute of India. The arrangement with Pfizer is presently at a standstill since Indian government officials have stated that they would not accept the ‘indemnity clause’ of foreign-made vaccines such as Pfizer and Moderna.

Senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh rubbished the claims of Rajeev Chandrashekhar and said, “Let not your ambition to climb the greasy pole make you more of a liar than you are.”

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