New Delhi: Congress interim President Sonia Gandhi on Saturday hit out at the centre and said it has “mismanaged the situation”, exported vaccine and allowed a shortage to be created in India.
She also stressed on transparency in the Congress and opposition ruled states to reveal the actual numbers of infections and deaths and focus on India’s vaccination drive.
Her remarks came during a meeting of Congress ruled states and party’s ministers from alliance states to review the efforts to fight Covid-19 including availability of vaccines, access to medicines and ventilators. Former party chief Rahul Gandhi also attended the meet.
Sonia said, “Covid is surging and as the principal opposition party, it is our responsibility to raise issues and push the government to move away from PR tactics and act in the interest of the people.”
India on Saturday recorded over 1.45 lakh fresh Covid cases and 794 deaths in the last 24 hours. Several states have red flagged the government over the shortage of the Covid-19 vaccines.
“Therefore, there must be transparency – governments must reveal the actual numbers of infections and deaths across states, whether Congress ruled or otherwise,” she said.
Highlighting the lack of Covid vaccines in several states, the Congress leader said, “We must focus on India’s vaccination drive first and foremost. Then only export vaccines and gift them to other countries. We must stress on responsible behaviour – adhering to all laws and Covid regulations without exception.”
She also emphasized on the cooperation with states respecting federalism and in turn, “for us to be constructive and cooperate with the government in its efforts to fight the pandemic is equally important”. We are all united in this fight, she said.
“The Modi government has mismanaged the situation – exported vaccine and allowed a shortage to be created in India,” Sonia said.
Pointing out at the mass gatherings during the assembly polls in states of Kerala, Assam, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal and Union Territory of Puducherry, Sonia Gandhi said, “Mass gatherings for elections and religious events have accelerated Covid for which all of us are responsible to some extent. We need to accept this responsibility and keep the interest of the nation above our own.”
She directed the Congress ruled states’ chief ministers to take strict measures to ensure that the pandemic doesn’t go out of control and ensure testing at large scale, preparation of adequate facilities, setting up temporary ones.
On Friday, Rahul Gandhi had written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi asking him to place an immediate moratorium on the export of vaccines, fast track approval of other vaccines and open up vaccination to everyone who needs it.