Rahul Gandhi slams government’s ‘lack of clear Covid vaccination strategy’
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Thursday blamed the government’s “lack of clear and coherent vaccination strategy” for the exponential rise in Covid-19 cases that has made another lockdown “inevitable”. He reiterated the demand for immediately vaccinating the entire population and for more transparency.
In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Gandhi said since India is home to one out of every six people globally, allowing the “uncontrollable spread of the virus” will be devastating not only for India but also for the rest of the world. “It is also important to understand India’s responsibility in a globalized and interconnected world.”
Gandhi urged Modi to ensure scientific tracking of the virus and its mutations using genome sequencing. He called for assessing the efficacy of all the vaccines against all new mutations and to keep the rest of the world informed about India’s findings. “It is absolutely critical that we address these urgent issues without delay.”
Gandhi attacked the government’s handling of the crisis. “Your government’s lack of a clear and coherent Covid and vaccination strategy, as well as its hubris in declaring premature victory as the virus was exponentially spreading, has placed India in a highly dangerous position: today the disease is growing explosively. It is currently on the verge of overwhelming all of our systems. GOI’s [government of India] failures have made another devastating national lockdown almost inevitable.”
Gandhi reminded Modi about the suffering caused by last year’s lockdown and urged him to “act with compassion and provide critical financial and food support to our most vulnerable people”. He acknowledged the economic costs of another lockdown but added the human cost of allowing this virus to spread will have far more drastic consequences.
Gandhi also separately attacked the Central Vista project, calling it a “criminal wastage” while asking the government to focus on people’s lives.
There was no immediate response from the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party.