Former Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Friday took a swipe at Niti Aayog, a government think tank for predicting that there would be no Covid-19 cases after May 16. According to the think tank, government’s lockdown strategy to control the virus will enable that.
“The geniuses at Niti Aayog have done it again. I’d like to remind you of their graph predicting the Govt’s national lockdown strategy would ensure no fresh Covid cases from tomorrow, May the 16th,” tweeted the Congress leader.
The geniuses at Niti Aayog have done it again.
I’d like to remind you of their graph predicting the Govt’s national lockdown strategy would ensure no fresh Covid cases from tomorrow, May the 16th. pic.twitter.com/zFDJtI9IXP
— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) May 15, 2020
The graph, as seen in Gandhi’s tweet, shows the curve predicting new cases peaking around last week of April and then sloping downwards to zero on May 16.
NITI Aayog chief executive officer Amitabh Kant later tweeted his rebuttal to Rahul Gandhi.
Blatant falsehood & lie. I have never tweeted this nor is this my slide. Please don’t attribute it to me & kindly withdraw your tweet. https://t.co/oqkUklgZGw
— Amitabh Kant (@amitabhk87) May 15, 2020
In a statement to HT later, the government think-tank said: “NITI Aayog examines & analysis various epidemiological models. In a presentation Member (Health) has presented various models presented by outside experts. It is a theoretical model like several made by epidemiologists around the world at such a time. It should be read in that context and not literally. The said graph presents factual cases till date along with a trend line. No claim was made as to zero case by 16th May, as is being incorrectly inferred.”
However, there has been no let up in the cases even as the third phase of nationwide lockdown ends this Sunday.
Earlier today, the death toll due to Covid-19 rose to 2,649 in the country while cases touched 81,970, said the health ministry.