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Drop adversarial stance on pandemic, Congress tells Centre

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi addresses an election meeting at Goalpokhar in West Bengal’s Uttar Dinajpur district on April 14, 2021.   | Photo Credit: -

The Congress on Wednesday said Prime Minister Narendra Modi is “negligent, callous and indifferent” about handling the COVID-19 pandemic at a time when the country is fighting the second wave.

The party also urged the government to drop an “adversarial” stance and listen to former Congress president Rahul Gandhi, who had been warning the government to take corrective measures even before the pandemic hit India.

 

Mr. Gandhi wrote to the Prime Minister last week calling for an “immediate moratorium on vaccine export and fast track approval of other vaccines”. The government, on Tuesday, agreed to fast track the approval of vaccines developed outside India.

Reacting to the news, Mr. Gandhi said on Twitter, “First they ignore you then they laugh at you then they fight you, then you win.”

Congress general secretary, Communications, Randeep Surjewala said when Mr. Gandhi first wrote the letter, instead of replying, the BJP “unleashed” Cabinet Ministers Ravi Shankar Prasad and Smriti Irani to hurl baseless allegations at Mr. Gandhi.

“The same government, then, within 48 hours, accepts the suggestions made by Congress President Rahul Gandhi,” Mr. Surjewala said. The party urged the government to drop their adversarial stance.

“Prime Minister Narendra Modi is negligent, callous and indifferent when it comes to handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. He has left the people to fend for themselves. Even in his own parliamentary constituency, the vaccine centre has been locked out because of shortage of shots,” Mr. Surjewala added.

Party general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra had on Sunday written to Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal urging him to postpone the CBSE exams for Classes 10 and 12. The government announced on Wednesday that Class 10 exams had been deferred. In response, Ms. Vadra said on Twitter, “Glad the government has finally cancelled the 10th standard exams. However, a final decision MUST be taken for the 12th grade too. Keeping students under undue pressure until June makes no sense. It’s unfair. I urge the government to decide now.”

U.P. situation

Meanwhile, amid the rapidly deteriorating situation in Uttar Pradesh, where reports of bodies piling up at crematoriums and sharp shortage of beds in hospitals have emerged, Ms. Vadra held an emergency meeting with the party’s State unit. She told party leaders at the meeting that the situation in the State was scary and the government’s negligence shocking.

 

Private laboratories are not allowed to conduct COVID-19 tests, while government laboratories are taking up to seven days to provide the results. To get admitted to hospitals, one needs approval from the Chief Medical Officer, which is not easy to come by. “This is a double whammy for people, who have to fight both COVID-19 and the misadministration of the government”, she said.

Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has also tested positive for COVID-19.


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Printable version | Oct 20, 2021 10:34:38 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/drop-adversarial-stance-on-pandemic-congress-tells-centre/article34320695.ece

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