Congress MP Rahul Gandhi on Sunday criticised the Centre for the slow pace of coronavirus vaccination in the country, while taking a swipe at Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s monthly radio programme “Mann ki Baat”.

“Just ensure vaccines for all the citizens, even if you do ‘Mann Ki Baat’ after that,” Gandhi tweeted ahead of Modi’s radio programme. He also posted a graph showing the daily vaccination figures in the country over the last one month.

In another tweet, hours after Modi’s programme, the Congress leader wrote, “Only one thing matters – put an end to vaccine shortage. Everything else is a way to distract the focus.”

In an affidavit to the Supreme Court, the central government has said 186.6 crore vaccine shots are needed to inoculate residents aged above 18 years. It said that the 135 crore doses of Covid-19 vaccines will be available by December 2021.

However, this projection is quite less than the Centre’s earlier estimation of how many doses would be available. In May, the health ministry had said that India would have 216 crore doses of Covid-19 shots between August and December to vaccinate all adults. The difference in projection stands at 81 crore.

In his “Mann ki Baat” address, Modi urged citizens to overcome vaccine hesitancy and get inoculated against the coronavirus.

“I have taken both doses [of the Covid-19 vaccine],” he said. “My mother is almost [a] 100 years old, she has taken both vaccines too. Please do not believe any negative rumours relating to vaccines.”

The prime minister said the threat of the coronavirus disease still remains and that the focus should be on vaccination as well as following Covid-19 protocols. “Those who are spreading rumours on vaccines, let them be,” he said. “We all will do our work and ensure people around us get vaccinated.”

Meanwhile, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan criticised Gandhi’s comments on the vaccination drive. He also gave credit to Modi for his efforts in dealing with vaccine hesitancy.

“You should be ashamed Rahul baba,” Chouhan said. “It is Modi who is getting people vaccinated and not you...You spread confusion, lied due to which many people refused to get vaccines.”

Chouhan also said that beneficiaries in Dulariya village in Madhya Pradesh’s Betul district were not getting vaccinated due to confusion. But, once the prime minister spoke to them during his radio programme, they started getting inoculated, he claimed.