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Sonia says Centre thinks it alone has answers to fight COVID-19

Congress President Sonia Gandhi. File   | Photo Credit: PTI

Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Friday urged the Union government to listen to suggestions offered by the States to bring the COVID-19 situation under control

At a meeting of all MPs of the party to discuss the second wave of COVID-19 across the country, she sought their views and pointed out that tackling the crisis required an able, calm and visionary leadership. The nation was sinking under the weight of the government’s “indifference and incompetence”, she noted.

‘Govt has failed people’

She said: “Let us be absolutely clear - the system hasn’t failed. The Modi government has been unable to constructively channelize India’s many strengths and resources. I say this categorically - India is crippled by a political leadership today that has no empathy for the people. The government has failed the people of our country.

“You are all well aware of the very many letters Dr. Manmohan Singh ji, former Congress president Rahul ji, and I have written to the Prime Minister in a spirit of constructive cooperation, giving very pointed and practical suggestions for action. I have personally been in touch with our Chief Ministers. They too have spoken to the Prime Minister and other Ministers concerned about the seriousness of the situation in their States. 

“Some of our colleagues have been regularly and quite effectively raising legitimate concerns and questions in the media. Unfortunately, these helpful initiatives have fallen on deaf ears. The government has made no meaningful response and continues to believe that it alone has the answers. The situation brooks no delay.” 

The Congress firmly believed that fighting COVID-19 was not a “government versus us” battle but a “us versus corona” battle. This battle transcended political differences. This battle had to be fought together as a nation, she stated.

Congratulates leaders 

Ms. Gandhi congratulated leaders of various States that won the recent Assembly polls.

She said: “Friends, in closing, may I on your behalf congratulate Mamata ji and Thiru M.K. Stalin and the Left for their handsome victories. Most unfortunately, our own performance in all the States was very disappointing and if I may say, unexpectedly so. The CWC is meeting shortly to review the results but it goes without saying that we as a party collective must draw the appropriate lessons from this setback in a spirit of humility and honesty.

“India is in the grip of a deadly health disaster. Thousands have died and millions are scrambling to access basic healthcare, life-saving medicines, oxygen, and vaccines. It is heartbreaking to see people battling for their lives in hospitals, on roads, waiting in vehicles, far too many for want of any medical help at all.

“The government’s own empowered groups and its National Task Force for COVID-19 had warned the Modi government that a second wave was imminent and urged it to plan and prepare for it. In that spirit, as a first step, I believe that the Modi government must urgently call an all-party meeting on the COVID-19 situation.”


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Printable version | Jun 18, 2021 4:49:39 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/fighting-covid-not-a-government-versus-us-battle-but-a-us-versus-corona-battle-sonia-gandhi/article34504802.ece

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