Priyanka Slams Centre for Poor COVID Strategy, BJP Retaliates

India has been facing an acute shortage of many healthcare resources to sustain the surge in COVID cases.

Updated
Politics
2 min read
Priyanka Gandhi said that testing in the state was not up to the mark and reports of tests were being unduly delayed.
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Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Wednesday, 21 April, slammed the Narendra Modi government for campaigning in spite of people suffering with extreme shortages in the country.

Gandhi, as per ANI, said, “Even today they're busy with campaigning. They are laughing from the stages (at rallies). People are crying, screaming for help, seeking oxygen, beds, medicines, and you're going to huge rallies and laughing! How can you?"

The Bharatiya Janata party (BJP) has continued its rallies in West Bengal. Other leaders like Rahul Gandhi, Mamata Banerjee have scaled down or cancelled their rallies for the upcoming state Assembly elections.

What Congress Said

According to ANI, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, questioning the Centre, said:

“Why did it not make arrangements when a second wave was inevitable? The country is facing a shortage of oxygen because there was no strategy, this is the government’s failure and bad planning.”

The Congress leader reiterated how India, with the largest production capacity for oxygen in the world, shouldn't have a shortage for it in the country. "You had 8-9 months (between first and second wave), your own Serosurveys indicated that a 2nd wave is imminent, you ignored it,” quoted ANI.

The leader further added that there is an issue of transporting the oxygen as well, since only 2,000 trucks in India have been allocated to do the same. "How tragic it is that oxygen is available but it's not reaching where it should. 1.1 million Remdesivir injections were exported in the last 6 months. Today, we are facing a shortage,” she said, as quoted by ANI.

Gandhi further pulled up the ruling party for exporting 6 crore vaccines as vaccine diplomacy instead of prioritising Indians. She blamed the shortage due to bad planning.

"Remdesivir shortage is due to no planning, oxygen shortage due to no strategy. It's government's failure,” slammed Gandhi, as per ANI.

She also questioned the Centre for not ramping up efforts on COVID testing saying, "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 government?"

India has been facing an acute shortage of many healthcare resources to sustain the surge of COVID cases in the country.

BJP Hits Back

Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi did not take Gandhi's remarks well and defended the Modi government noting how under his leadership, the country has been equipped with two indigenous vaccines, and 13 crore people have been vaccinated so far.

“We have over 3,000 testing labs who are conducting tests of 15 lakh people daily. Our situation is improving with each passing day. The Opposition is unnecessarily doing politics over the pandemic. We should not mislead people during such unprecedented times,” the Minister said to ANI.

BJP Spokesperson Sambit Patra accused the Gandhi family of politicising the issue and told ANI, "When things shouldn't be politicised, Congress, especially the Gandhi family is doing politics. Priyanka Gandhi gave an interview and Rahul Gandhi tweeted. The nation is watching how they're criticising, and it'll give them a reply. The arrogance of the Gandhi family is being reflected here.”

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