External affairs minister S Jaishankar told Indian diplomats to "counter the 'one-sided' narrative on international media" that Narendra Modi's government had "failed the country by their 'incompetent' handling of the second Covid wave", Indian Express reported today.
Jaishankar addressed Indian ambassadors and high commissioners during a virtual meeting on Thursday.
Express reported: "The official 'context' for Thursday’s meeting was India’s efforts to mobilise resources, including oxygen container, concentrators, ventilators, drugs and vaccines, from countries that have offered help..." However it noted that the meeting came in the wake of harsh criticism of Modi and his government in the international press.
Officials present at the meeting told Express that "two big themes" were discussed: efforts to procure materials for India to overcome the surge, and "taking control of the international media narrative". The report said: "On this, participants said the message from Jaishankar was not to get overpowered by the 'negative' media reports but to take charge and project the government’s side of the story."
No questions were asked on the BJP government going ahead with election rallies in Bengal and the Kumbh Mela despite the surge in Covid cases.