April 18, 2021 1:48:03 am
Accusing the BJP government of “colossal mismanagement” of the fight against the pandemic, the Congress on Saturday said the Centre has failed on multiple fronts, including in creating public awareness that a waning pandemic could be precursor to a deadlier second wave and rapidly scaling up the production and supply of the two approved vaccines by providing sufficient funds and other concessions.
A meeting of the Congress Working Committee warned the nation will face an “unprecedented catastrophe” unless “urgent corrective measures are taken”.
Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, the Congress said, will write to Prime Minister Narendra Modi Sunday putting forward a set of suggestions from the party. For instance, Congress president Sonia Gandhi, at the meeting, said the government must reduce the immunisation age to 25 years and above as well as younger people with health disorders.
Arguing that experts had warned that a second save was possible and perhaps imminent, the Congress said the Centre failed to put in measures and paved the way for the havoc that is being caused by the second wave. “Despite a year to prepare, we have, regrettably, been caught off guard again,” Gandhi said.
The Congress said the government failed to universalise vaccination, get rid of pre-registration and bureaucratic control over the programme, leave the vaccine roll-out to the state governments and public and private hospitals, and minimise vaccine wastage
At a press conference after the meeting, senior Congress leader P Chidambaram said it is “shocking callousness” on Prime Minister part to be addressing rallies in West Bengal instead of staying in Delhi and coordinating among the ministers.
“We all know that this is a one-person government. All decisions are taken by the Prime Minister or in his name by the Prime Minister’s office. He should be there in Delhi fighting this war,” he said.
Chidambaram also backed the Trinamool Congress’s demand for clubbing the remaining phases of the Bengal elections and argued the Prime Minister’s appeal to keep the Kumbh Mela “symbolic” was too late. “How many days has the Kumbh mela gone on already?…So, this is again locking the stable after the horses have bolted,” he said.
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