Congress President Sonia Gandhi on Friday urged the Modi government to urgently call an all-party meet on the Covid situation, saying the battle today is not a “government versus us” but “us versus corona”, transcending the political differences.
Addressing a Congress Parliamentary Party meeting attended by party MPs through video-conferencing, she also called for convening the Parliamentary standing committees to ensure collective action and ccountability to combat the pandemic better. She also directed Rajya Sabha Opposition leader to take up with the presiding officer to act on the recommendations of the Standing Committee on Health presented last October, raising serious concerns about the preparedness to fight the second wave.
Blasting the Modi government, Sonia said, “categorically” that “India is crippled by a political leadership today that has no empathy for the people.” Asserting the Modi government has failed the people of India, she made it clear the system has not failed. The Modi government “has been unable to constructively channelise India’s many strengths and resources.”
She blasted BJP govts, saying instead of helping the desperate patients, using the state’s repressive power to arrest people merely for crying out for help, cracking down on citizen groups trying their best to help and compelling social media platforms and the media to obfuscate the truth and ignore the pleas of desperate citizens.
She slammed the PM for “arrogantly boasting earlier this year that he had defeated the pandemic and his party obediently felicitated him for his so-called success.” Ignoring the expert advices, she said the Modi government “refused to strengthen the supply-chain of oxygen, medicine and ventilators and failed to place sufficient orders for vaccines in time to meet the needs.”
Instead, it consciously chose to allocate thousands of crores for non-essential projects (hint at the Central Vista and new Parliament projects) that have nothing to with people’s well-being.
Sonia enquired as to what happened to Rs35,000 crore allotted in the Union Budget for free vaccines to all and instead put burden on the state governments to buy them at differential pricing and refused compulsory licensing to increase the vaccine production. Stressing the situation brooks no delay, she said: “Tackling this crisis requires able, calm and visionary leadership. The nation is sinking under the weight of the Modi government's indifference and incompetence. This is the time for us to steel ourselves and rededicate ourselves in the service of our people.”
CWC shortly to review results
Congress President Sonia Gandhi on Friday announced to convene a meeting of the Congress Working Committee (CWC), the party’s highest decision-making body, to review the results of the recent Assembly elections. “Most unfortunately, our own performance in all the states was very disappointing and if I may say, unexpectedly so,” she said in her concluding remarks at a meet of the Congress Parliamentary Party through video conference. Even before the review, “We as a party collective must draw the appropriate lessons from this setback in a spirit of humility and honesty,” she added.