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COVID-19 surge: Rahul Gandhi says only a full lockdown now can save people

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi. File   | Photo Credit: PTI

Former Congress president Rahul Gandhi in a tweet on Tuesday said only a full lockdown in the country could now save human lives but the government of India’s (GOI) “inaction is killing many innocent lives”.

In another tweet, Mr. Gandhi clarified that he was now advocating a complete lockdown only because the Centre’s lack of strategy against COVID-19 allowed the situation to reach this stage and a “crime has been committed against India”.

However, the Congress leader said the government must first ensure cash transfer for the vulnerable sections.

At a virtual press conference, party spokesperson Shaktisinh Gohil questioned the Centre’s decision to give environmental clearance to construct a new residence for the Prime Minister as part of the multi-crore Central Vista project.

“GOI doesn’t get it. The only way to stop the spread of Corona now is a full lockdown — with the protection of NYAY for the vulnerable sections. GOI’s inaction is killing many innocent people,” Mr. Gandhi tweeted.

The Congress has been advocating a minimum income guarantee scheme or ‘nyuntam aay yojana’ (NYAY) for people who live on daily income to compensate for the loss of income.

“I just want to make it clear that a lockdown is now the only option because of a complete lack of strategy by GOI. They allowed, rather, they actively helped the virus reach this stage where there’s no other way to stop it. A crime has been committed against India,” he added in a subsequent tweet.

Senior party leader Anand Sharma also said that a complete lockdown was now the only options as the government has been in denial of the numbers of infections and deaths.

Addressing reporters, Mr Gohil said while the country now needs health infrastructure like ICU beds, uninterrupted oxygen supply and critical medicines like Remdesivir, the Modi government is busy giving enironmental clearance to Central Vista.

“What does the Sultan of this country do at this time? You will be surprised that his government has given environment clearance for the Prime Minister's new house. Today, that is his priority,” he said.

While party general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra tweeted that the government would have sent the right public message if it had spent the amount meant for Central Vista on healthcare, Mr Gandhi tweeted to give a break up.

“₹13,450 crores for Central Vista. Or, for fully vaccinating 45 crore Indians. Or, for 1 crore oxygen cylinders. Or, to give 2 crore families NYAY of ₹6000. But, PM’s ego is bigger than people’s lives,” Mr Gandhi tweeted.

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Printable version | May 11, 2021 1:19:23 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/covid-19-surge-rahul-gandhi-says-only-a-full-lockdown-now-can-save-people/article34477474.ece

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