Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Friday held a meeting with presidents of state units via video conference to take stock of the situation arising out of the continuing nationwide lockdown. She hoped the central government would come up with a detailed plan to mitigate the sufferings of the poor, farmers and unorganised workers.
During the meeting, the party said almost every state president has spoken about how lack of testing is hampering the fight against coronavirus. They also said that states are starved of funds.
AICC general secretary in-charge of organisation K C Venugopal said the Centre’s failure to ramp up testing was a major concern expressed by almost all state party presidents. “The lockdown is going to put a lot of burden on our economy. The economy was already in crisis – and now it seems difficulties will increase. We have to be ready for it,” Gandhi told the state chiefs.
AICC general secretary in-charge of Uttar Pradesh Priyanka Gandhi Vadra wrote to Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, asking him to ramp up testing, saying it can prove to be a life saver in a state like UP, which has a huge population. While the population of UP is nearly 23 crore, only 7,000 samples have been sent for testing so far, she said.
“In this battle, there is need to take steps by keeping our political ideologies away and help bring people together and create a fear-free atmosphere,” she said in her letter. She also asked the UP CM to set up more isolation wards and quarantine centres.
The Congress also accused the Centre of failing to secure the safety and livelihood of Indians in America. “The sword of H-1B visa job terminations looms large on the heads of an estimated 75,000 Indians, with the United States giving them only a 60-day period to find a new job in case of a layoff. There are 309,986 Indians working on H-1B visa in the USA, and given the COVID-19 lockdown in the two countries, it is logistically impossible for them to come back to India,” Congress communication department head Randeep Surjewala said.
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