Sonia slams govt for ‘gross unpreparedness’
The Congress Working Committee (CWC) on Saturday decided to ask Prime Minister Narendra Modi to reduce the vaccination age to 25 from the current 45 years, give financial aid of ₹6,000 to people most affected by the pandemic and bring transparency in allocation of vaccines to states, even as it slammed the Centre over its “colossal mismanagement” and “gross unpreparedness” in handling the Covid crisis.
Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will write to Modi on Sunday to suggest a set of measures to manage the second wave, said party leaders P Chidambaram and Ajay Maken.
Congress president Sonia Gandhi said “despite a year to prepare, we have, regrettably, been caught off guard again” and accused the government of “gross unpreparedness” and “avoidable adhocism”. Reminding the government of raj dharma, Sonia said, “Taking on these challenging times as Indians rather than as political opponents will be true raj dharma.”
In the virtual meeting, Sonia suggested 25 years as the cut-off age for vaccination as more younger people are testing positive in the second wave. Some leaders demanded universal vaccination. Rahul Gandhi maintained the Centre had no strategy against Covid. “This government has no strategy against Covid. It has no proper vaccination strategy and no oxygen strategy. The nature of the government is causing problem,” he said.
Senior leaders Digvijaya Singh and Pramod Tiwari backed Rahul. While Tiwari said Rahul “predicted all these Covid-related developments last year”, Singh said, “Every word that Rahul has said since February last has proved to be true.” Priyanka Gandhi Vadra said the UP government is hiding the case count but the media is not holding the regime accountable. The CWC meeting — which saw heated exchanges between members on the last few occasions — went peacefully as all leaders focused on the health crisis. A resolution was adopted on the Modi government’s “failure” in 14 areas, including “failure to rapidly scale up production and supply of vaccines”. Chidambaram and Maken later called for proper testing and refused to support another federal lockdown.