Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Sunday criticised the central government’s recent Cabinet expansion, saying that the number of ministers had increased but not the Covid-19 vaccine stock in the country.
On Wednesday, the prime minister inducted 43 leaders in the Union Cabinet. With this, the total number of members in the prime minister’s council of ministers went up to 78.
Gandhi made the remark in a tweet and posted a graphic by NDTV that showed “India’s vaccination equation”, noting the required vaccination rate to achieve the target to inoculate 60% of the country’s population by December.
Communist Party of India (Marxist) Sitaram Yechury on Sunday also hit out at the Centre, saying that a “bulky Cabinet” was not going to be useful if public investments were not increased.
“When higher public investments are needed to revive the economy and secure livelihoods government expenditures fall sharply by 41.6%,” Yechury said in one of several tweets. “Modi government must spend more to build infrastructure generating jobs and demand.”
Yechury questioned where the money generated from increasing fuel prices was being redirected. “To feed Modi government PR [public relations] propaganda and spin?” he said. “Or build [the] prime minister’s new house and buy luxury planes? The world is spending on jobs and helping people reconstruct their lives, but no, the Indian government is not.”
The politician also posted a graph showing data on countries where citizens received at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine. “This is where India stands thanks to the complete mismanagement and hubris of this government,” Yechury said.
The Left party leader also said that instead of spending on advertisements that thank the Narendra Modi-led administration for its vaccination programme, money could be allocated for getting the shots.
“Modi government’s assaults on people’s livelihoods is beyond criminality,” Yechury tweeted. “Provide direct cash transfers and free food kits. Stop self promoting advertisements.”
Out of the 78 ministers in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Cabinet, 33 – or 42% – have declared criminal cases against them, showed a report released by the Association for Democratic Reforms on Thursday. The report showed that 24 ministers have declared serious criminal cases against them, including for murder, attempt to murder and robbery.
The report was based on analysis of the “self-sworn affidavits of all 78 ministers”, the organisation said.