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Monday, June 14, 2021

Covid spread due to Govt ‘incompetence, insensitivity’, PM must ‘atone’: Congress

Congress president Sonia Gandhi also hit out at the government at a meeting of the party’s Working Committee, which saw members like Priyanka Gandhi arguing that the party’s machinery should be visible on the ground helping out Covid patients.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi |
Updated: May 11, 2021 12:13:23 pm
Congress president Sonia Gandhi was addressing the Congress Working Committee virtually on Monday. (File Photo)

Arguing that the massive spread of the second wave of Covid-19 was a direct consequence of the Narendra Modi government’s “indifference, insensitivity and incompetence”, the Congress today said the Prime Minister must “atone” for his “mistakes” and “commit” to serving the people, instead of carrying on with a “personal agenda”, oblivious to the suffering all around.

Congress president Sonia Gandhi also hit out at the government at a meeting of the party’s Working Committee, which saw members like Priyanka Gandhi arguing that the party’s machinery should be visible on the ground helping out Covid patients and providing relief to people.

While the Congress had been hitting out at the government and giving it suggestions, many in the party admit that it was its youth wing chief BV Srinivas who had made a difference by proactively helping out patients. Gandhi reminded party leaders that “we must ensure a better coordination of these efforts so that they can be as effective as possible.”

Addressing the CWC, Gandhi accused the Centre of having “willfully ignored” scientific advice and argued the “country is paying a horrendous price for the Modi government’s neglect of the pandemic, indeed its willful patronage of super-spreader events that were allowed for partisan gains.”

“The public health system across the country has all but collapsed. Vaccination coverage is woefully short of need and not expanding at the rate at which it must. The Modi government has abdicated its responsibility. It has obliged the states to bear the cost of vaccinating the hundreds of millions in the 18 to 45 age group.”

“Every expert has said that it would have made more sense and it would have been financially more equitable for the Centre to bear the costs. But we know the Modi government has other priorities, pursuing grandiose projects against the force of public opinion and the face of widespread criticism. It is also a shame that the Central government continues to discriminate against Opposition-ruled states,” she said.

While noting that the international community has rushed to India’s assistance, Gandhi said “that we should be placed in such a position reflects the monumental arrogance, incompetence and vain triumphalism of the ruling establishment.” The CWC passed a more hard-hitting resolution slamming the Government.

It said the massive surge in coronavirus cases is the “direct result of the central government’s willful disregard of scientific advice, it’s premature declaration of victory over the pandemic (that turned out to be just the first wave), and its unwillingness and inability to plan in advance in spite of warnings sounded not only by public health experts but also by the Standing Committee of Parliament concerned.”

It questioned the government’s vaccination strategy and pricing policy and accused the Modi government of indulging in criminal waste of money by “continuing with the personal vanity project” of the Prime Minister in Delhi. “This is the height of callousness and insensitivity as also an insult to the people of the country,” it said.

It said the infection has traveled massively into rural areas with zero access to RT PCR testing, medicines, oxygen or hospitalisation, resulting in a large number of painful deaths.

“Even across the country, the inhumane crisis of non-availability of oxygen, hospital beds, Remdesivir – Ivermectin – Tocilizumab injections and vaccines reflects the criminal failure of the central government. This has happened despite India producing sufficient quantities of Oxygen and Remdesivir injections as also the vaccines….The data on Covid deaths is horribly wrong and afflicted by massive non-reporting of deaths. The solution lies in facing the challenge and stopping the casualties from Covid-19 and not in concealing the truth by burying the data on deaths and infections,” the CWC said.

Arguing that it was time for showing an unwavering sense of national unity, purpose and resolve, the CWC said “in order that it may become a reality, the Prime Minister must atone for his mistakes and commit to serving the people instead of carrying on with personal agenda, oblivious to the suffering all around.”

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