Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday told Bharatiya Janata Party MPs that the Congress is in a “coma” and has not been able to digest the saffron party’s rise to power, NDTV reported. Modi made these remarks at a parliamentary party meeting of the BJP.

“Congress still has sense of entitlement that it has ruled the country for 60 years and it is because of this that they haven’t been able to digest the fact that people have chosen us,” the prime minister was was quoted as saying. “As an opposition, they should take up issues of people’s welfare strongly which they aren’t doing.”

Accusing the Congress of creating a negative atmosphere in India, Modi reportedly added: “The Congress thinks it is entitled to power. It does not care about its sliding mandate. It is declining everywhere but still it is more concerned about us than itself.”

He also claimed that the government was willing to hold discussions in both Houses of Parliament, but the opposition was behaving irresponsibly.

Modi asked Bharatiya Janata Party MPs to ensure that they are quick to counter the Opposition about alleged mismanagement of the coronavirus pandemic, the Hindustan Times reported.

The prime minister added that a deliberate attempt was being made to mislead people about alleged shortages of Covid-19 vaccines. Attacking the Opposition, he said that in Delhi alone, nearly 20% frontline workers are not vaccinated so far.

The Covid-19 crisis is not a political but a humanitarian issue, he added, according to Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi.

Modi told the MPs that the government has ensured no one goes hungry during the pandemic and reminded them that providing relief to the people was their responsibility and not a favour, PTI reported.

He also told the MPs that considering the possibility of a third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, they should prepare and be ready to put boots on the ground.

Opposition parties’ criticism

The prime minister’s remarks were in response to severe criticism by Opposition parties over the Centre’s coronavirus strategy. Last week, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi had hit out at the Centre over vaccine shortages. “Jumle hain, vaccine nahin (There is rhetoric, no vaccines),” he remarked.

Opposition parties had earlier rejected an offer by the government that the prime minister would address floor leaders in the Parliament annexe. They had said that any address by the prime minister should be in Parliament.

At 6 pm on Tuesday, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan will address floor leaders of political parties on Covid-19 management and strategy.

Vaccine shortages

Several states have recently complained about shortages of Covid-19 vaccine doses. Many vaccination centres have remained closed for varying lengths of time in states like Delhi, Madhya Pradesh and Odisha.

In the past few weeks, the rate of vaccination in the country has slowed down. In the last week of June, an average of 62.1 lakh doses of Covid-19 vaccines were administered daily. The number dropped to 41.80 lakh in the first few days of July, Hindustan Times reported.

On July 2, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that states are allocated stocks based on the spread of the infection and the density of their populations.

India on Tuesday recorded 30,093 new cases of coronavirus in the past 24 hours. The daily case count is the lowest since March 17, when the country registered 28,903 new cases. The toll went up to 41,44,82, as 374 more patients died due to the infection since the last count.