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Ready to help, we need political consensus to fight Covid: Sonia Gandhi

As an Opposition party, Sonia Gandhi said the Congress has to insist upon transparency and accountability from the Government and join the people to put pressure on the government to recognise that nothing is more vital now than to save lives.

Written by Manoj C G | New Delhi |
Updated: April 27, 2021 7:28:46 am
Sonia Gandhi, SOnia Gandhi covid help, covid-19, india covid cases, sonia gandhi on covid-19, sonia gandhi covid meeting, congress, covid vaccine, pm modi, oxygen shortage, indian express newsAsked if she and her party were willing to sit down and help the Government if it reached out, ahead, Sonia Gandhi said: "Of course. My answer is an unequivocal yes." (File)

CONGRESS president Sonia Gandhi underlined Monday the need for the political leadership to rise above “our differences” and come together to fight the Covid “calamity” as a nation.

In an exclusive interview to The Indian Express, Gandhi said that the Congress was ready to extend all cooperation to the Government even as she said the “abdication of leadership” by the Centre in this public health emergency is “shocking” and “culpable.” And there was a sense people have been “abandoned” by an “all-round collapse” of governance.

“We believe that fighting Covid is not a ‘You versus Us’ battle but is an ‘Us versus Corona’ battle. This battle is, therefore, beyond political alignments. We have to fight this battle together as a nation,” she said. “The Modi government must realise that the battle is against Covid, it is not against the Congress or other political opponents.”

“A political consensus is essential. We must bring together all stakeholders to fight a calamity like the one we are facing. Unfortunately, the Modi government has repeatedly demonstrated that it prefers coercion to consensus…I truly believe that challenging times warrant the political leadership to rise above our political differences. We have done so in the past many times. As a country and as a democracy, India has always come together in crisis,” she said.

As an Opposition party, Gandhi said the Congress has to insist upon transparency and accountability from the Government and join the people to put pressure on the government to recognise that nothing is more vital now than to save lives.

“It is as if our people have been abandoned by the all-round collapse of governance and relinquishment of responsibility. Therefore, our role as an Opposition to listen to people and convey their anguish becomes all the more imperative,” she said.

Asked if she and her party were willing to sit down and help the Government if it reached out, ahead, Gandhi said: “Of course. My answer is an unequivocal yes.”

Gandhi listed many issues which require the Government’s immediate attention – among them making a provision for oxygen; stopping black marketeering of medicine; ensuring availability of beds; homecare protocols; vaccination; quick testing and tracing; economic support to the disadvantaged and genetic sequencing of the virus.

She suggested that the Government and India Inc pool their resources together to create new and sufficient hospital infrastructure on a war footing. Besides, she asked the Government to financially incentivize the doctors, nurses, paramedical staff, frontline medical workers and other frontline corona warriors and provide safe transportation of migrant labour from cities by special trains and other means.

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