New Delhi: As the country grapples with rising Covid-19 cases and fatalities, Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi on Wednesday reprimands Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his inefficiency to tackle the worsening situation in India as he is busy in election campaigns. The opposition leader said PM needs to show up and tell people how he is going to save lives. “…PM needs to show up. He needs to get off the stage of the rally where is laughing and cracking jokes. He needs to come here, sit in front of people, talk to them and tell them how is he going to save lives,” said Gandhi in a media interview.
Taking a jibe at the ruling government over poor medical infrastructure, Gandhi asked why India was facing an acute oxygen shortage despite having one of the largest production capacity in the world. “India’s production capacity for oxygen is one of the largest in world. Then why’s there a shortage? You had 8-9 months (between first & second wave), your own Serosurveys indicated that a 2nd wave is imminent, you ignored it,” the Congress leader said.
Mrs. Gandhi also said it is tragic that oxygen is available but not reaching where it should. “You had time. Today, only 2000 trucks in India can transport oxygen. How tragic it is that oxygen is available but it’s not reaching where it should. 1.1 million Remdesivir injections were exported in last 6 months. Today, we’re facing shortage.”
“Govt exported 6 cr vaccines b/w Jan-March. During this time 3-4 cr Indians were vaccinated. Why were Indians not prioritised? Vaccine shortage is due to bad planning, Remdesivir shortage due to no planning, oxygen shortage due to no strategy. It’s Govt’s failure,” she added.
Targeting BJP leaders for holding big rallies in poll-bound states, Gandhi said they should fix their priorities. “Even today they’re busy with campaigning. They’re laughing from the stages (at rallies). People are crying, screaming for help, seeking oxygen, beds, medicines, & you’re going to huge rallies & laughing! How can you?”
Referring to the Uttar Pradesh government’s statement on increased testing, Gandhi said, “Their own Serosurvey in Oct-Nov said, 5 cr people came in contact with the virus. Ramping up of testing was recommended. UP Govt started 70% antigen tests which means only 30% RT-PCR test is being done.”
She also brought up the issue that private labs are being told to stop testing, “Why did they not ramp up? Why the antigen tests? To lower their numbers? Even today reports are coming that private labs are being told to stop the testing. Why? What is important – people’s lives or your numbers and the image of your govt?”
Expressing her displeasure over government’s response to the letter of former PM Manmohan Singh to Modi. “Manmohan Singh ji was PM for 10 yrs. Everyone knows how dignified a person he is. If he’s giving suggestions when nation is facing pandemic, then suggestions should be taken up with same dignity with which they were offered,” she said.