Bihar Minister Ram Surat Rai, a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader, is in the spotlight for his effusive praise of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.
A purported video has gone viral on social media in which the Minister for Revenue and Land Reforms can be seen holding forth before a small crowd, under a thatched roof.
“If you all are alive today, it is because of Narendra Modi,” the Minister, apparently not a believer in moderation of speech, can be heard as saying in the video.
“Look at the devastation wrought by Covid in Pakistan and elsewhere. We were saved by PM Modi’s vaccine and his deft handling of the economy,” he said. The video was likely shot last week in Muzaffarpur district to which Mr. Rai belongs.
WHO figure 10-times higher than India’s official COVID-19 death toll
While India’s official death toll, as per the Health Ministry data on August 1, 2022, stands at 526,396, the World Health Organisation (WHO) in May this year, estimated the total number of fatalities to be more than 47 lakh, directly or indirectly attributable to COVID-19. The WHO report, however, was denied by the Government of India
The Minister has been in news for his lack of restraint on more than one occasion in the recent past.
In the heat of the anti-Agnipath protests, he had dubbed the arsonists as “aatanki” (terrorists), much to the annoyance of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s JD(U), which had taken a sympathetic view of the agitation.
Last month, his outbursts against the CM’s veto on transfers and postings of more than 100 officials he had cleared, also made headlines.
(With inputs from PTI)