Stepping up his criticism of the BJP-ruled Centre, Rahul Gandhi on Saturday (April 10) blamed “failed policies” of the government for the “terrible second wave of coronavirus in the country” in which migrant workers are “forced to flee again”.
On April 9, the Congress leader had asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to suspend the export of vaccines to meet the urgent domestic demands. On April 8, the Ministry of External Affairs said that India has not ordered any export ban on anti-coronavirus vaccines, adding that the supply of made-in-India vaccines abroad would continue while also taking care of the country’s needs.
“Besides increasing vaccination, it is necessary to provide money in their hands — both for the life of the common man and the economy of the country. But the egoistic government is allergic to good suggestions!” Gandhi tweeted on April 10.
“Lack of vaccine is a very serious problem amid the growing corona crisis… Is the vaccine export right, putting your countrymen at risk?” Gandhi had tweeted on Friday.
There are reports of hundreds of migrant workers fleeing Indian cities following restrictions being imposed in some states to contain the spread of the infection. There are fears that these workers would be left jobless again.
Companies fear another exodus, like the one last year, will spark off a shortage of workers at factories. The shortage of manpower would affect production schedules at a time when industrial units are nearing capacity and add to labour costs.
The nationwide inoculation drive, which began on January 16, vaccinated the healthcare and frontline workers first. Gandhi alleged that the pace of the vaccination has slowed down and asked the Central government to speed up the process.
On April 10, Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh joined his Rajasthan counterpart Ashok Gehlot in warning the Centre of limited stocks of vaccines that could last not more than a week. Singh has gone to the extent of blaming the “massive anger among the people of the state” over the new farm laws for a slow rate of vaccination.
Gehlot said vaccine stocks would run out in 48 hours or less, urging the Centre to send 30 lakh doses immediately. Maharashtra, the worst-hit state with nearly 60,000 daily cases, has already taken up its fast depleting stocks with the Centre.