Congress leaders, who met at the Congress Working Committee online meet on Saturday (April 17), attacked the Modi government for being completely unprepared and for being “caught off guard again” in tackling the second wave of the pandemic.
India continues to register record number of COVID-19 cases on a daily basis, with Saturday’s (April 17) tally alone being 2.34 lakh new cases.
At the CWC meet, the Congress leaders discussed the surge in cases, shortage of vaccines and other pertinent issues as they blamed the government for not doing enough. Expressing her concern over the acute shortages of medical equipment and hospital beds, Congress Chief Sonia Gandhi said that news reports were highlighting the scarcity of COVID-19 vaccine and important life saving drugs including Remdesivir.
“It is a matter of grave concern that life-saving drugs like Remdesivir and medical oxygen as also other basic supplements are subjected to 12 per cent GST”, the Congress chief said.
Meanwhile, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh recommended that “vaccine manufacturers must be given the opportunity to get a fair price so that they can ensure the supply as per demand,” reported NDTV quoting sources. Singh is likely to send his suggestions on the necessary measures to be taken to counter the COVID-19 pandemic to Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a letter.
The Congress scion Rahul Gandhi too did not mince his words as he criticised the government for not being “prepared better”. They had one year and they did not do enough, he added. Though India was the biggest vaccine-maker in the world, they have become the worst-affected nation, he said.
Earlier, Sonia Gandhi too said the Congress had extended their cooperation right from February-March, 2020 to the Modi government. But, they cannot, however, lose sight of the fact that the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic had hit the country with fury. “Despite a year to prepare, we have, regrettably, been caught off guard,” she said.
She took the opportunity to take a dig at the PM Modi’s government for not taking “constructive criticism”. Instead, the Union leaders attacked the Congress leaders for making suggestions. Recently, Rahul Gandhi’s suggestion to fast-track the approval of foreign vaccines led Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad to viciously attack the Congress MP and label him as a lobbyist of the pharma industry.
In the same meet, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, who is the general secretary of the party from Uttar Pradesh also urged that “super spreader events and public rallies” should be stopped at once.