Amid a devastating second COVID-19 wave wreaking havoc in the country, twelve major Opposition parties have written a joint letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
"The COVID-19 pandemic in our country has assumed unprecedented dimensions of a human catastrophe," the letter read. "We have repeatedly in the past drawn your attention, independently and jointly, to the various measures that are absolutely imperative for the Central government to undertake and implement. Unfortunately, your government has either ignored or refused all these suggestions. This only compounded the situation to reach such an apocalyptic human tragedy," it added.
Meanwhile, the Opposition parties have listed nine measures to be undertaken by the government on 'war footing'. The list of measures included:
1. Procure vaccines centrally from all available sources - global and domestic.
2. Immediately begin a free, universal mass vaccination campaign across the country.
3. Invoke compulsory licensing to expand domestic vaccine production.
4. Spend budgetary allocation of Rs. 35,000 crores for the vaccines.
5. Stop Central Vista construction. Use the allocated money for procuring oxygen and vaccines, instead.
6. Release all money held in the unaccounted private trust fund, PMCares to buy more vaccines, Oxygen and medical equipment required.
7. Give all jobless at least Rs. 6000 per month.
8. Free distribution of foodgrains to the needy (over one crore tonnes of food- grains are currently rotting in central godowns).
9. Repeal of farm laws to protect lakhs of our annadatas becoming victims of the pandemic so that they can continue to produce food to feed the Indian people.
The letter was signed by representatives of all key political parties including Sonia Gandhi, Sharad Pawar, Uddhav Thackeray, Mamata Banerjee, MK Stalin and others.