New Delhi: Congress President Sonia Gandhi has lashed out at Centre over their alleged covid-19 mismanagement, adding that export of vaccine doses to other countries have not led to shortage in the country.
She also urged Congress as well as opposition ruled states to transparently report the actual number of infections and deaths. She also asked leaders to focus on India’s vaccination drive.
“There must be transparency – governments must reveal the actual numbers of infections and deaths across states, whether Congress ruled or otherwise,” she said.
Sonia Gandhi said, “Covid is surging and as the principal opposition party, it is our responsibility to raise issues and push the government to move away from PR tactics and act in the interest of the people.”
She was chairing a meeting with the senior party leaders and chief ministers of Congress ruled states to review Covid-19 situation including availability of vaccines, access to medicines and ventilators. Former party chief Rahul Gandhi also attended the meet.
This comes as India on Saturday recorded over 1.45 lakh fresh covid cases, biggest one-day spike and 794 deaths in the last 24 hours. The surge in covid-19 cases has been termed as the second wave of infections.
Meanwhile, several states have red flagged the government over the shortage of the Covid-19 vaccine doses as the nationwide vaccine drive is underway.
Highlighting the lack of Covid vaccines in several states, the Congress leader said, “We must focus on India’s vaccination drive first and foremost. Then only export vaccines and gift them to other countries. We must stress on responsible behaviour – adhering to all laws and Covid regulations without exception.”
“The Modi government has mismanaged the situation – exported vaccine and allowed a shortage to be created in India,” Sonia said.
Pointing out at the mass gatherings during the assembly polls in states of Kerala, Assam, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal and Union Territory of Puducherry, Sonia Gandhi said, “Mass gatherings for elections and religious events have accelerated Covid for which all of us are responsible to some extent. We need to accept this responsibility and keep the interest of the nation above our own.”
She directed the Congress ruled states’ chief ministers to take strict measures to ensure that the pandemic doesn’t go out of control and ensure testing at large scale, preparation of adequate facilities, setting up temporary ones.
“We must make all efforts to support those who face the brunt of reduced economic activity as the restrictions become harder and more stringent,” she said.
She also asked the state governments “if there is enough vaccine available, has the central government been cooperative, what are our states doing to ensure availability of the oxygen, ventilators and other facilities as the pandemic grows, what are your view of lockdown, what about the economic fallout, how bad is the situation in your states, should not public gatherings including election rallies be cancelled?”
On Friday, Rahul Gandhi had written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi asking him to place an immediate moratorium on the export of vaccines, fast track approval of other vaccines and open up vaccination to everyone who needs it.