New Delhi, March 12 (IANS) The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has hit back at former Goldman Sachs chief economist Jim ONeill for criticising India over steps to tackle coronavirus.
Vijay Chauthaiwale, BJP Foreign Affairs Department in-charge, in a letter to O’Neill said he needed to “re-evaluate” his opinion.
“I deplore the remark made by you, underestimating the proactive efforts and efficiency of the Indian government in countering coronavirus outbreak and evacuating Indians from the affected areas of the world,” he said.
Stating that India is a democracy, Chauthaiwale said “free flow of information acts as a catalyst in such unfortunate eventualities” and asked O’Neill to re-evaluate the Indian health system “with an open mind”.
Chauthaiwale also suggested that China might have suppressed real facts.
O’Neill had said, “Thank god, this didn’t start in India,” as he praised the Chinese efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19.
The Narendra Modi government quickly acted and announced a host of measures, including temporary suspension of tourist visas and mandatory quarantine for people arriving from abroad.
Earlier in the day, Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba wrote to Secretaries of all ministries suggesting specific instructions to deal with the situation.
So far, coronavirus has infected 73 people in India.